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If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur

If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur

3.5 2
by Linda Bailey, Colin Jack (Illustrator)

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A hugely popular picture book, now available in oversized board book format for our youngest dino-lovers.

If you happen to have a dinosaur, lying around your living room, and you don't know what to do with it...why don't you use it as a can opener? It will make a terrific nutcracker too! There are oodles of uses for a dinosaur -- from a fine umbrella to


A hugely popular picture book, now available in oversized board book format for our youngest dino-lovers.

If you happen to have a dinosaur, lying around your living room, and you don't know what to do with it...why don't you use it as a can opener? It will make a terrific nutcracker too! There are oodles of uses for a dinosaur -- from a fine umbrella to an excellent kite and a dandy pillow, not to mention a reliable burglar alarm and the perfect excuse to forget your homework. This delightfully absurd exploration of the domestic uses of dinosaurs -- and the things dinos just aren't good for at all -- is guaranteed to tickle funny bones and spark imaginations. If you read carefully, you'll learn how to make your dinosaur last a very long time.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A tongue-in-cheek look at some of the many ways that idle household dinosaurs can be put to work. Jack casts a host of cartoon dinosaurs—most of them humongous, nearly all smiling and candy bright of hue—in roles as can openers, potato mashers, yard sweepers, umbrellas on rainy days, snowplows, garbage collectors, and like helpers or labor savers. Even babysitters, though, as Bailey aptly notes, "not all dinosaurs are suited to this work." Still, "[t]he possibilities are amazing!" And even if there aren't any handy dinos around, she concludes, any live-in octopus, sasquatch, kangaroo or other creature can be likewise exploited. A bespectacled, woolly-haired boy who looks rather a lot like Weird Al Yankovic serves as dino-wrangler in chief, heading up a multiethnic cast of kids who enjoy the dinosaurs' services. As with all books of this ilk, the humor depends on subtextual visual irony. A group of kids happily flying pterosaur kites sets up a gag featuring a little boy holding a limp string tied to the tail of a grumpy-looking stegosaurus. Changes on this premise have been run over and over since Bernard Most's If the Dinosaurs Came Back (1978), and though this iteration doesn't have any fresh twists to offer, at least it's bright and breezy enough to ward off staleness. Well-trodden dino turf, but the grass is still fairly green. (Picture book. 4-6)
From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur:
"This wacky, zany tale is a storytime crowd pleaser." --Children's Book Review

"Buried in all the rambunctious fun, the story leaves young ones with a message that can be applied to real-life situations: if you take the time to think critically and creatively, you can make effective and logical choices." --Booklist

"There aren't many books that have the courage to be this silly...Simply wonderful." --The Globe and Mail

   • Selected as one of Today's Parent's Top 15 Picture Books of 2014
   • Nominated for the Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award, 2016

Product Details

Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.70(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Award-winning author LINDA BAILEY has written more than twenty books for children in a number of different genres, including the best-selling Stanley-the-dog series, The Farm Team, the Stevie Diamond Mysteries, the Good Times Travel Agency series, and most recently, When Santa Was a Baby and Seven Dead Pirates. Known for her wonderful sense of humor, Linda has garnered a long list of honors in both Canada and the United States, such as the Blue Spruce Award, the Atlantic Provinces Hackmatack Award, the Arthur Ellis (Crime Writers of Canada), the California Young Reader Medal, and the Georgia Storybook Award.

COLIN JACK is the incredibly talented illustrator of several books for children, including the Galaxy Zack series, Toads on Toast (also with Linda Bailey), and 1 Zany Zoo. He also works as a story artist and character designer at Dreamworks and has been involved in such productions as Hotel Transylvania, Grossology and Ed, Edd n Eddy.

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If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ForTheArtOfIt More than 1 year ago
I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher. Here is my honest review. This book was pretty cute and for a child who loves dinosaurs, it will be especially engaging. The imagination and supporting pictures make this a fun read with lots of detail to support looking deeper into the text of the book.
TheIndigoQuill More than 1 year ago
See full review @ The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com   What kid doesn't think dinosaurs are awesome? And how many people know what to do if a stray dino just happens to make its way into your home? Okay, so maybe that's a little unlikely. In her newest picture book, Linda Bailey coaches the reader on what to do in the occasion that a dinosaur comes to make its way into the lives, and hearts, of their family.      Now, when you imagine keeping a dinosaur around, it is likely that you would assume it would just take up space and cause more havoc than you need interrupting your daily routine. But you'd be surprised! They can be quite useful. It can mow your lawn, grind your coffee, serve as a burglar alarm...you can even use it as a paper shredder! However, I would advise you to keep tabs on that use with your children. There are some things you wouldn't want your dinosaur to do for you, such as carrying your picnic basket (the food probably won't make it to the destination). Some dinosaurs make better kites and babysitters than others, but that's okay. You'll figure it out. Bailey says that once you start using your dinosaur, it will be a wonderful long-term relationship! The illustrations are very well done, and I love the way everything is shaded. The artwork compliments the narration and also shows movement where necessary. The illustrator is a story artist at Dreamworks Animation. If you like what you see here, you should definitely check out his website and browse his other work. It's pretty fantastic! On this particular project, he used a program called Sketchwork Pro. He's also been generous enough to give fans a sneak peek at some of the illustrations he did for If You Happen To Have a Dinosaur, and you can enjoy those here: http://colinjack.tumblr.com/post/88152321224 http://colinjack.tumblr.com/post/86567860484 This was a delightful book! Between the hilarious narration and the fun, colorful illustrations, you and your child will stay entertained! Do I sense more books like this?: But if you don't happen  to have a dinosaur lying  around your living room (Not everyone does.) What if you have an octopus instead Or... a porcupine, a penguin, a saber-tooth, a sasquatch, a dodo, or a camel, or a kangaroo A special thanks to NetGalley and Tundra Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.