The Amazing Adam Rex

Do you know someone who can write, draw, and they’re funny, too? Wow!

One of my favorites is Adam Rex. For a good giggle, check out The True Meaning of Smekday to find out what life is like on Earth when aliens (called the Boov) take over, or try Pssst! - and discover what happens when zoo animals make unusual demands.

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The True Meaning of Smekday book jacket

The True Meaning of Smekday

By Adam Rex
Illustrator Adam Rex

It all starts with a school essay.

When twelve-year-old Gratuity ("Tip") Tucci is assigned to write five pages on "The True Meaning of Smekday" for the National Time Capsule contest, she's not sure where to begin. When her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended on the Earth and the aliens - called Boov - abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it "Smekland" (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod?

In any case, Gratuity's story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo.; a futile journey south to find Gratuity's mother at the Happy Mouse Kingdom; a cross-country road trip in a hovercar called Slushious; and an outrageous plan to save the Earth from yet another alien invasion.

Fully illustrated with "photos," drawings, newspaper clippings, and comics sequences, this is a hilarious, perceptive, genre-bending novel by a remarkable new talent.

Pssst! book jacket


By Adam Rex

A child, a visit to the zoo, animals--sounds like good, simple all-American fun. But there's something "different" about this zoo. These animals "want "things. Unusual things. What will they do with them? Laughs, jokes, and surprises abound in this graphic picture book about a feisty, all-too-helpful little girl and her role in aiding and abetting zoo-animal shenanigans. Adam Rex once again reveals the hilarious hidden life of creatures we thought we knew well.

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich book jacket

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

By Adam Rex
2008 North Carolina Children's Book Award Junior Book Winner

Being a monster isn't all frightening villagers and sucking blood. Monsters have their trials, too. Poor Frankenstein's cupboard is bare, Wolfman is in need of some household help, and it's best not to get started on Dracula's hygiene issues. What could be scarier?

Nineteen hilarious poems delve into the secret lives of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Bigfoot, Godzilla, and others. In a range of styles that pay homage to everyone from Charles Schulz to John James Audubon, the monstrously talented Adam Rex uncovers horrific--and clever--truths you won't want to miss.

Tree Ring Circus book jacket

Tree Ring Circus

By Adam Rex

In a quiet little lea, several miles out of town, a tree grows. It becomes home to sparrows, chipmunks, a whopping big bee . . . a runaway clown? Two poodles? An ape? Wait a minute. . . .

In his quirky but realistic style, Rex creates the greatest show on earth--or at least, in a tree. The surprising text is part word game, part counting game, and part mystery. The illustrations are pure, beautiful mayhem, loaded with boisterous energy and cunning little critters that readers will love to chase through the pages.

Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem book jacket

Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem

By Mac Barnett
Illustrator Adam Rex

Review by Ellen Trachtenberg
Never underestimate your mom. When she threatens to buy you a blue whale if you don’t clean up your room, she means business. If you second-guess her about having a blue whale delivered overnight—after all, they are the biggest animals in the world—she’ll show you who’s boss. And before you know it, you have a sizable dilemma on your hands, because whales make rather difficult pets.

That’s the comical and cautionary tale behind Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem, marking the impressive debut of author Mac Barnett. After Billy shirks his chores one too many times, he wakes to find the large aquatic mammal at his doorstep, delivered by who else but Fed Up: Delivering Punishment Worldwide. He tries to go about his day, towing the whale to school on the back of his bike, squeezing him into the classroom and defending his new pet against the playground bully. It’s exhausting, to say the least, and his troubles don’t end when he returns home. As Billy drags himself upstairs, his father pulls out a copy of the Blue Whale Owner’s Manual, complete with instructions on washing and waxing your whale, not to mention feeding him. “The manual says they eat krill—tiny shrimps things that they find by gulping ten-thousand-gallon mouthfuls of seawater.” But where will Billy find that much seawater?