Follow TV Tropes

Following

Literature / Pinky and Rex

Go To

A series of children's books by James Howe about a boy named Pinky and a girl named Rex, two second-graders who are best friends.

The series consists of:

  • Pinky and Rex (1990)
  • Pinky and Rex Get Married (1990)
  • Pinky and Rex and the Spelling Bee (1991)
  • Pinky and Rex and the Mean Old Witch (1991)
  • Pinky and Rex Go To Camp (1992)
  • Pinky and Rex and the New Baby (1993)
  • Pinky and Rex and the Double-Dad Weekend (1995)
  • Advertisement:
  • Pinky and Rex and the Bully (1996)
  • Pinky and Rex and the New Neighbors (1997)
  • Pinky and Rex and the School Play (1998)
  • Pinky and Rex and the Perfect Pumpkin (1998)
  • Pinky and Rex and the Just-Right Pet (2001)


This series provides examples of:

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Pinky's little sister, Amanda, often annoys both Pinky and Rex.
  • Be Yourself: This is the Aesop that Pinky learns in Pinky and Rex and the Bully, helped by Mrs. Morgan explaining to him how she regrets giving up on her interest in painting due to peer pressure when she was younger.
  • The Bully: Kevin, the eponymous bully in Pinky and Rex and the Bully, picks on Pinky for liking pink and having a girl as his best friend.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: Many of the books are titled this way, combined with Name and Name.
  • Cool Big Sis: In Pinky and Rex and the New Baby, Rex goes to lengths to be a responsible older sister for her new little brother, due to worrying that her parents will forget about her once they have a second child to care for. Her fears subside by the end of the story, but she remains a good big sister, to the point where her new neighbors in Pinky and Rex and the New Neighbors consider having her babysit for them when she's older.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cool Old Lady: Although she was originally a dreaded Cranky Neighbor, the children come to view Mrs. Morgan this way after they befriend her. She regularly invites them over for cookies and drinks, and helps Pinky deal with a bully.
  • Cranky Neighbor: Mrs. Morgan aggressively chases the children off whenever she catches them on her property, even threatening to call the police on them. She softens up after Pinky offers her homemade cookies.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even Amanda disapproves of how Mrs. Morgan accepts Pinky's gift of cookies without thanking him.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Both of the main characters have names that are not immediately indicative of their genders. In Pinky's case, it's a nickname; his birth name is William.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Mrs. Morgan is a Grumpy Old Lady, to the point where the children call her a mean old witch. She becomes less of a grump after Pinky offers her cookies, and eventually befriends the children.
  • Advertisement:
  • Kids Love Dinosaurs: Rex does especially, but Pinky and (at first) Amanda are also excited to see the dinosaurs at the museum.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Pinky is a boy who likes the color pink and stuffed animals, Rex is a girl who likes dinosaurs and soccer.
  • Meaningful Name: Pinky likes pink and Rex likes dinosaurs. Justified for Pinky, as he got the nickname for his favorite color.
  • Name and Name: The entire series is named this way.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Everyone calls Pinky by his nickname. His birth name is William.
  • Out of Focus: Even though Rex is one of the title characters of every book, there are a few in which she has only a minor role in the story, and only one of the books is written primarily from her perspective (Pinky and Rex and the Perfect Pumpkin).
  • Performance Anxiety: Rex is uncomfortable with performing onstage, be it for a spelling bee or a play. Despite this, she gets cast in the lead role in Pinky and Rex and the School Play. She ends up performing well, but maintains that she has no interest in acting in the future.
  • Pink Is for Sissies: Kevin outright calls Pinky a sissy for liking pink in Pinky and Rex and the Bully. Pinky wonders for a time whether Kevin is right, but eventually learns to Be Himself.
  • Platonic Boy/Girl Heroes: Pinky and Rex are a boy and a girl who are best friends. Even their mock wedding in Pinky and Rex Get Married is motivated more by a desire to remain best friends forever.
  • Potty Failure: In Pinky and Rex and the Spelling Bee, the relief of winning the spelling bee causes Pinky to wet his pants in front of the entire class, since during lunch he had drunk a large amount of milk and juice out of nervousness.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Pinky and Rex's parents and teachers are usually portrayed this way. In Pinky and Rex and the Spelling Bee, Ms. Hernandez calmly reassures Pinky after he suffers an embarrassing Potty Failure and tries to get the other students to empathize with him instead of laughing.
  • School Play: In Pinky and Rex and the School Play, the main characters act in one. Conflict arises when Pinky gets cast in a non-speaking role (a monkey), much to his chagrin, whereas Rex lands the lead role despite being uncomfortable with acting.
  • Spelling Bee: One is held in Pinky and Rex and the Spelling Bee. Pinky wins, as he'd hoped, but is humiliated in front of the entire class by a Potty Failure.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: At the end of Pinky and Rex and the Mean Old Witch, Mrs. Morgan accepts Pinky's gift of cookies and stops chasing the children away from her yard, but she doesn't immediately open up to them. As Amanda points out, she doesn't even thank Pinky for the cookies. Later books do show that the kids eventually strike up a friendship with her.

Top