cover image The Super Hungry Dinosaur

The Super Hungry Dinosaur

Martin Waddell, , illus. by Leonie Lord. . Dial, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-3446-3

The crayoned illustrations of debuting talent Lord are a terrific match for Waddell's (Bee Frog ) effortless channeling of a very young storyteller. A boy named Hal and his dog, Billy, are playing in the backyard when a huge T-Rex crashes through the fence (“ 'I'm hungry and I've come to eat you!' roared the Super Hungry Dinosaur”). How Hal brings the Super Hungry Dinosaur to heel—and teaches him that Mom's spaghetti and meatballs are far more satisfying than eating humans or pets—is told, as a child would, through the simple accumulation of over-the-top events, brisk dialogue and lots of evocative sound effects (“Grrrrrrr!” “Slurp!” “Burp!”). Taking her cue from children's drawings, Lord maintains a single, stage-like perspective, frequently breaking up the action into sequential strips (a chase scene involving a clothesline, trampoline and garden hose takes up several pages). She also pares down details, giving the pictures a distilled comic urgency. Her obvious glee at drawing the green, ravenous dinosaur is infectious and should inspire readers to grab their own box of crayons. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)