Romeosaurus and Juliet Rex by Mo O’Hara

Published: 11th December 2018Goodreads badge
Publisher:
HarperCollins
Illustrator: Andrew Joyner
Pages: 34
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

In this hilarious take on Shakespeare for children—with dinosaurs instead of people—Romeosaurus and Juliet Rex get along perfectly well until they realize that their families should be mortal enemies!

“Your family would eat mine,” says Romeosaurus, who comes from a family of herbivores. Yes, it’s true—Juliet Rex’s family are carnivores, and Romeosaurus’s family are plant-loving herbivores.

With two families up in arms (very short ones for Juliet Rex) the two friends run away, determined not to let family baggage determine who their friends should be.

It’s Shakespeare Day and what better way to celebrate that than with a Shakespeare adaptation in the form of a picture book! This is Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet told through dinosaurs which is a brilliant concept and should start a whole series of Shakespeare told through dinosaurs.

Romeosaurus and his friends do all the normal things we’ve come to see from a Romeo and Juliet story: there is a masked ball, Romeosaurus sneaks in with his friends and causes chaos but not before he and Juliet spot each other and become friends. All the main plot points from the original are covered, all our favourite characters (with a slight variation on the details and circumstances as you’d expect). I love that this book doesn’t make Juliet the plant-loving herbivore – instead she is the large, carnivorous T-Rex in a smashing dress; I also love that there is a Shakespeare cameo in his dinosaur alternate form that introduces the story much like is done in the original play.

The illustrations are fantastic, it’s dinosaurs but they’re in period clothing, but also in the wild 150 million years ago. The myriad of anachronistic elements can be ignored but also cherished because this is such a cute story and the little jokes about logistics and dinosaur anatomy bring in a different type of humour with issues such a stegosauruses inability to climb due to their lack of claws, and jokes about tiny T-Rex arms.

O’Hara keeps the two as friends, and through the story we also learn friends are important and can come in any form, even the carnivorous kind. It has a wonderful mix of happily ever after that picture books can bring, but there’s also a touch of the original Shakespeare tragedy which is absolutely fantastic.

You can purchase Romeosaurus and Juliet Rex via the following

Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | Angus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ThoughtsBecomeWords
    May 01, 2021 @ 12:21:41

    I don’t know of it, but will keep my eyes peeled 🙂

    Like

    Reply

  2. ThoughtsBecomeWords
    Apr 23, 2021 @ 17:54:07

    Brilliant concept, and I always love Andrew Joyner’s illustrations.

    Like

    Reply

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