TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour

The TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour is your opportunity to learn from and build personal connections with extraordinary book creators and their brand-new titles. Included in all Virtual Book Tour posts are original interviews with authors and illustrators, lesson plans, an activity designed for young people, and much more!

Welcome Aaron Reynolds

Aaron Reynolds on The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter

In this post, we feature Aaron Reynolds, whose bestselling titles include the Caldecott Honor Book Creepy Carrots. You can hear him speak about the inspiration for his new novel, The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter, and try his fun “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Author Aaron Reynolds and the cover of his novel The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter.

The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter

  • Written by Aaron Reynolds
  • Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Release date: April 28, 2020

Rex Dexter is itching to have a dog. Any pooch is preferable, but a chocolate Labrador is the pinnacle. The best of the best. But when his parents present him with a promising-looking box with holes, out comes a chicken. Pet poultry? How clucky. Soon, the chicken is dead (by a steamroller), Rex is cursed (by the Grim Reaper), and ghostly wild animals are haunting Rex’s room, and they need him to solve urgent mysteries! Even his best friend, Darvish, is not going to believe this. Bestselling author Aaron Reynolds delivers a wickedly funny debut title in The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter series.


Allow me to be completely transparent. You probably won’t believe any of this. . . Deep breath. Here goes.

I can talk to dead animals.

Read a longer excerpt from The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter.

Explore The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter

Listen to Aaron Reynolds talking with TeachingBooks about creating The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.

Invitation to Imagine

TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by Aaron Reynolds.

Imagination Activity with Aaron Reynolds

Imagine what you would do if you had the power to talk to dead animals! Would you consider it a curse, like Rex does, or more of a superpower? Write a one-page story about an adventure you would have with your power to talk to dead animals.

Finish This Sentence . . . with Aaron Reynolds

As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Aaron Reynold’s responses.

“A surprising thing that helps me work is . . .”

Not working! I don’t mean that you shouldn’t sit down and do your work. But after I write, I find the best thing is to let it sit while I go do other things. It’s usually during this time that some of my best ideas on how to improve my story just pop into my brain.

More Connections to Aaron Reynolds and The Incredibly Dead Pets of Rex Dexter

Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!

All text and images are courtesy of Aaron Reynolds and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and may not be used without expressed written consent.

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