Book Review: Dad and the Dinosaur

We recently returned Daddies Do after enjoying it for a month, so I was on the hunt for another book that had the dad as a central figure. Mon Cœur (MC) is at an age where she is more and more active and she loves to play with her Daddy, so I like to find books that include dads in them. Plus it always puts a smile on Chou chou’s face!

MC and I found a book, Dad and the Dinosaur, written by Gennifer Choldenko and illustrated by Dan Santat which turned out to be super cute. It’s a bit longer of a story, not sing-songy like other, more age-appropriate books. But MC loves dinosaurs and she loves her daddy, so…we dove right in.

The story is about a little boy finding bravery by carrying a dinosaur everywhere…until he loses it. I love the part the father plays – even though as adults we know and rationalize that it isn’t the dinosaur giving the boy his courage, the father helps him find it. He is patient and listens to his son and then they go looking for the dinosaur.

I love the images in this book: One of the first pages where the dinosaur is in the boy’s hand, there is a larger than life projection of a dinosaur in the sky, showing the reader just how big and brave the boy is with his dino. Then later in the book, after he loses his dinosaur, we see a dark night with creepy crawly bugs and animals skittering across the page and sliding out of manholes. These images really show the reader the feelings the boy has- immense bravery – with a dinosaur enveloping him and making him feel protected and then a sense of being overtaken by fears – a tentacled arm reaching out to him when it’s just his father.

This is a bit “darker” as far as books we’ve read with MC- there are many night time images and then there’s the manhole eating dinosaurs and the octopi living under said manholes and creepy crawly bugs. Although this was a fun read for her, it’s not something that I would add to our library right away. This is a great book to include dads and for dads and sons (who are maybe five to seven years old).


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