Crunch, the Shy Dinosaur

Cirocco Dunlap, illus. by Greg Pizzoli.. Random House, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-55056-0
Crunch’s name is in the title, but this very funny story is really about the relationship between the reader and Dunlap’s (This Book Will Not Be Fun) unseen, tightly wound narrator. The narrator’s goal seems sweet and straightforward enough: to introduce the reader, through some interactive prompts, to the pink and introverted Crunch, seen peering out from some thick foliage. But Crunch is exquisitely sensitive and eccentric, and the narrator, though struggling to stay upbeat, is clearly losing energy and patience. Urging readers to sing “Happy Birthday” to coax Crunch out, the narrator babbles a bit deliriously: “He loves birthdays because someone has one every day. He loves days in general. He’s very positive.” Pizzoli (Good Night Owl) draws Crunch as eager, friendly, and a total goofball; when Crunch thinks he has heard “good light” instead of “good night,” he shows up with a big smile and an armful of lamps. One senses that when it is all over and Crunch goes to sleep, the narrator will do so, too. Ages 3–7. Agent for author and illustrator: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/02/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-0-399-55059-1
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