Sunday, August 5, 2018

Book Review: Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff


Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun easy reader for all ages
Cons: None worth dwelling on
The Bottom Line:
Danny, Dinosaur
Join on their day together
Still fun for kids now




Delightful Day with a Dinosaur

When I was browsing in my library recently, I stumbled upon Danny and the Dinosaur.  I must admit, I hadn’t thought about Syd Hoff’s book in years, but I immediately got a smile.  I had to check it out and reread it.

The book features Danny, a young boy whose day in the museum gets much better when he meets a real Dinosaur.  The two spend the day together, heading downtown, to the zoo, and finally spending some time playing with Danny’s neighborhood friends.

And really, there is no plot to the book, just a series of events, looking at what day to day life would be if you had a giant plant eating dinosaur with you.  This is definitely a case where pictures are as important as the words on the page since sometimes the text is more a caption for the picture.  That’s not a complaint since the two combine for some very fun moments.

This book was certainly as much fun as I remembered it being.  Even though the text is limited since this is a picture book, you can still feel the bond that forms between Danny and the Dinosaur.  Or maybe it’s just because this is wish fulfillment.  Who isn’t fascinated with dinosaurs at that age?  And the idea of spending the day having fun with one is certainly appealing.  The book speaks to that desire for sure.  And there are plenty of pages sure to induce smiles if not laughs.

The one thing I did notice reading this book as an adult is the lack of transitions.  As I noted earlier, some pages are more pictures with captions.  This feels a bit abrupt, at least to this adult.  I never noticed as a kid, and I’m sure kids today won’t mind either.  And, really, I’m being extremely picky.

The pictures do scream 1950’s, from the style of the art to the style of the clothing.  However, that is something that adults will pick up on while kids won’t care.

This book is classified as an easy reader.  There are a few words that beginning readers might have trouble with, but an adult should be able to help them expand their vocabulary.  Most of the words will be no problem for them.

The book may be from the 1950’s, but the magic is still alive today.  Danny and the Dinosaur is an easy reader that will delight kids for generations to come.

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