cover image Dinosaur Pet

Dinosaur Pet

Marc Sedaka, illus. by Tim Bowers. Charlesbridge/Imagine!, $17.95 (28p) ISBN 978-1-936140-36-7

In this follow-up to Neil Sedaka’s Waking Up Is Hard to Do, Sedaka fils re­imagines his father’s 1961 hit “Calendar Girl” as the story of a boy who hatches a dinosaur egg in his bedroom in January and revels in the ups and downs of the creature’s companionship for the rest of the year: “March, at least eight times a day he’s got be fed./ April, when he sleeps with me he crushes the bed.” There are rumblings that this relationship can’t go on forever (“August, the cost of groceries is bleeding us dry”) but the duo shows no signs of breaking up (à la Danny and the Dinosaur). Bowers (Dream Big, Little Pig!) works in lusciously hued, brushstroke-textured spreads, and his comedy is nicely underplayed—Dinosaur Pet is a well-meaning, eager-eyed behemoth who’s game for vigorous tooth brushing and wearing a King Kong mask at Halloween, and who tries his best not to smash up the house with his enormous tail. The text isn’t much without the accompanying music CD, which has an infectious piano shuffle and Neil Sedaka sounding as boyish as ever. Ages 4–up. (May)