Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “T Is for Terrible” as Want to Read:
T Is for Terrible
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

T Is for Terrible

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  210 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
I am Tyrannosaurus Rex.
I am a dinosaur,
otherwise known as
a terrible lizard.

Tyrannosaurus rex is a terrible dinosaur; of this, everyone is certain. But is this dinosaur really so terrible? He IS very big and very hungry. True, he might even eat his neighbors for lunch. But from his point of view, he can't help it. After all, he's not a vegetarian . . .

T Is for Terrible is a
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 2nd 2008 by Square Fish (first published August 1st 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about T Is for Terrible, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about T Is for Terrible

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 322)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 11, 2015 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Poor Tyrannosaurus doesn't mean to be so terrible.

He can't help it; he's just made that way.


Who can look at those teeny-weeny arms and not fall in love?
(Unless you're one of the poor unfortunates being chased or devoured . . . )

And then there's this:



This is a perfect book for a very young dino-lovin' tyke.
Mar 05, 2010 Marya rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A Tyrannosaurus Rex asks why he is so terrible when he can't help things like "crushing little flowers when I step" or "growing so enormous and so enormously hungry". The innocent text is accompanied by similarly soft watercolors ("would I be so terrible if I were pink" is so adorable that my mother answered aloud "No" when she saw it). My little one even roars when we get to the page where he announces "But I am Tyrannosaurus Rex and I do not eat trees" and is shown to hungrily chase the other ...more
Mar 10, 2010 Loren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I forgot about this one (for it sooo old) 2004 wink,wink! I rediscovered it because Erin is crazy about the mighty Trex. Jamil was thumbing thru a copy in my office and commented on how cool it is ..... he too liked the concept would a Trex be so terrible if it were PINK?! This is a refreshing dino books for it introduces an altered reality, "what if Trex wasn't so terrible?" It does have a theme of self acceptance and identity. My favorite line is "I cannot help that I step on little flowes whe ...more
Feb 18, 2016 Vivian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
T-rex introduces himself as Tyrannosaurs Rex, otherwise known as a terrible lizard. He explains he can't help that the ground shakes when he runs.

As a story performer to library-attending pre-schoolers I often have the children stand up and stomp in place as if they were a t-rex or if not stand them up at least have them slap their thighs in an exaggerated manner while remaining seated. Sometimes I'll tease a bit, for instance on the page showing him hatching from an egg I'll say something like
Feb 05, 2014 Michaela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 642
This book is from the fantasy genre - it is told from the point of view a talking T-rex. I'd say it's geared for a younger audience, ages 3yrs. - Kindergarten but I think first graders would enjoy it too.

This is the story of a T-rex who does not "know why he is so terrible" but clearly feels that he is because of his diet and the fact that he steps on flowers. He thinks about ways to be not so terrible, like possibly being a different color or becoming a vegetarian. But, in the end he says, "I
Oct 05, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, reviewed
This is *such* a sweet story! My niece and I love T is for Terrible! And we love the pictures! My niece reminded me of this story today after we read Fabian Escapes. After reading that book she said, "Amy, I think the person who wrote this also wrote T is for Terrible. The pictures look really similar." She's sure correct, and I'm so happy that she reminded me about T is for Terrible!
Cuddly dinosaur wonders why he is considered terrible for doing what he was built to do: Which is eat everyone in sight.

Is it serial killer apologia or a story of self-acceptance?

Nov 28, 2015 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is the best book ever, the apex of English literature. I bought this book to read to my niece and nephews, but after reading it once I decided to keep it for myself. This book cracks me up. I live with a bunch of grad students, like myself, and we all agree that this is the best book ever. As we watched the Red Sox beat the Yankees and the Cards, we recited passages from this book each time David Ortiz stepped up to the plate. He cannot help that he is so enormous, and
Drew Graham
Jun 16, 2015 Drew Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: me
(Maybe 4.5) Lil' Tyrannosaurus Rex is literally a terrible lizard (a.k.a. dinosaur), but he insists he's just misunderstood. He might be a carnivore, but he's not SO terrible.

When The Wife and I were first dating she picked this up at a bookstore because she loved it so. I finally took a few minutes to read it and thought it was funny and charming. The illustrations are great, and it made me laugh out loud a couple of times (I love children's books). As far as text goes, I'm pretty sure this rev
Mar 10, 2016 Alice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-stars
This book bored me to tears! The picture are boring and the story was strange. Even if I was obsessed with dinosaurs like more boy ages 3-100 I am afraid they would find it dull as well!
Meg McGregor
A wonderful story that invites children to learn more about the T-Rex and decide for themselves if it is a terrible lizard or not.

Wonderful illustrations.
Soft pictures in a muted color palette. A sad t-rex who can't understand why he/she is considered so terrible; that's just how he/she was born.
Marissa García
A T-Rex contemplates his terrible nature and wonders over why he must be that way. He had a mother too, and was a baby once. He can’t help that he steps on little flowers when he walks. He wonders if he would be less terrible if he were pink or blue colored. He can’t help that he doesn’t eat trees!

The misty, watercolored art by McCarty inspires both amusement and pity towards the T-Rex’s plight. This book gives children the opportunity to think about the shades of gray in characters, and help th
Jesse Lasarte
Apr 11, 2013 Jesse Lasarte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This is an amusing story about a ferocious dinosaur trying to make a case for his innocence. The ferocious dinosaur, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, doesn’t feel it’s fair to be labeled a “terrible lizard.” After all, it’s not his fault he’s not a vegetarian. Overall, this is a quality picture book. My one criticism is that the illustrations are not as detailed as some of his other illustrations. Usually, you can spot interesting asides in McCarty’s books. However, it hardly makes a difference to the books ...more
John Sullivan
Apr 16, 2013 John Sullivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
T is for Terrible is a wonderful book about a T-Rex who is misunderstood. It's not his fault he is a meat-eater, he says; if he could, he would be a vegetarian. McCarty does a great job of illustrating this book to supplement the text. The sentences are short and simple, so the pictures are important to the story. For a unit on dinosaurs, this book could be fun to read, but it also could be used for a vocabulary or comprehension lesson for younger elementary students. I will have this in my clas ...more
Dec 15, 2009 Tricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
one of my favorite author/illustrators, mccarty captures much more in his titles than simple words and pictures. he creates a tone and feeling to his works. this title is no exception--t rex doesn't understand why he is so terrible...but he is. i love the page that says "if i could, i would be a vegetarian. but i am a tyrannosaurus rex, and i do not eat trees." mccarty is underrated in my opinion.
Ms Threlkeld
Very simple text and illustrations, but don't let that fool you. This is a clever story about a T-Rex who wishes he could change his ways so the other dinosaurs wouldn't fear him, but he knows it isn't in his nature to be a vegetarian. This would pair nicely with "Carnivores" and could lead to an engaging writing assignment where students take on the POV of an animal.
Jan 15, 2010 Caleb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
A tyrannosaurus rex talks about how he is terrible and, while he laments it a bit, he realizes there's nothing he can do about it and accepts his terrible-ness. I don't think the title ties in very well to the story, but it's rather charming, and I enjoyed McCarty's unusual dinosaur designs and depictions--they really looked rather unique.
Beth Wood
Jun 07, 2012 Beth Wood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to give this book a 5 for illustrations and a 2 for story. Are we supposed to feel sorry for the T Rex because he is a meat-eater? It's dangerous to assign human feelings to predators, even dead ones. I just don't get this book. May readers said it was "sweet". Ack! Sweet? He'll rip your head off if he's hungry!
Sep 08, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Illustrated by the author. Although it has really very beautiful illustrations, I find this book to be so sad. The final line is even, "I cannot help that I am so terrible." I would not use it for storytime and can't really think of an instance that I would want to use it.
This is a lovely book about accepting yourself for who you are. The main character of this book explains that it is not his fault he is terrible, that people judge him on how he looks and what he eats. Nice to include in a unit on acceptance.
Kathy Ellen Davis
Jan 03, 2013 Kathy Ellen Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I liked this book, to be able to see another side of T-Rex was nice.
It also made me sad.
I wanted him to change.
But he couldn't.

Haiku Review:

I don't mean to be
so terrible but I am
I wish I could change
The Brothers
Mar 05, 2016 The Brothers rated it really liked it
A short, succinct, but engaging book about a T-Rex lamenting his terribleness, but accepting that's just the way he is. Dex (3yo) especially liked it.

Fun illustrations.
Feb 08, 2009 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dinosaur wants to know why everyone thinks he's so terrible and how he can change. Great book for opening up discussion about judging others, or people who are born different.
Aug 17, 2012 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ages 3+
A Tyrannasaurus Rex is misunderstood and doesn't understand why. He tries to imagine if he would be so terrible if he were different colors. Beautifully illustrated.
Kim Foy
Mar 24, 2012 Kim Foy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
This is the story of a tyrannosaurus Rex who wants to be a vegetarian. He explains how he tries not to be so terrible, but he cannot help it.
Aug 04, 2012 Pedro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is up my alley. I laughed and laughed. It's a story about a T.Rex contemplating his place in the world. I get him.
Mar 29, 2013 Marie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wanted to do this for story time, but in the end, he is terrible? So, I don't know, I have decided not to use it!
Oct 08, 2011 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book makes you go "ohhhhh!" in a whomp whomp kind of way for most of it. A touching read!
Cute, simple, nice illustrations with a touch of humour. Read in preschool storytime on Dinosaurs.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Brontorina
  • Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones
  • Me and You
  • Are the Dinosaurs Dead, Dad?
  • I'm Bad!
  • Wolf Won't Bite!
  • No Matter What
  • Hugs from Pearl
  • Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy
  • My Best Friend
  • Little Black Crow
  • Sheep in a Shop
  • April and Esme: Tooth Fairies
  • Leaves
  • What If?
  • I Love You Like Crazy Cakes
  • Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!
  • Rainstorm
I was born in 1966 in Westport, Connecticut right in the middle of two older brothers and two younger sisters. We kept our mother busy while my father worked long hours at IBM. Most of my childhood was spent in my head. I was usually recreating a battle from World War II or running from dinosaurs in prehistoric times. To this day, I develop characters and environments based on worlds I first creat ...more
More about Peter McCarty...

Share This Book