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A heartwarming father-son story about bravery and facing fears.
Nicholas was afraid of the dark outside his door, the bushes where the giant bugs live, and the underside of manhole covers.
His dad was not afraid of anything.
Nicholas wants to be as brave as his dad, but he needs help. That’s why he needs a dinosaur. After all, dinosaurs like the dark, bugs are nothing to them, and they eat manhole covers for lunch (and everything under them for dinner).
With his toy dinosaur, Nicholas can scale tall walls, swim in deep water, even score a goal against the huge goalie everyone calls Gorilla. But when the dinosaur goes missing, everything is scary again.
Luckily, his dad knows that even the bravest people can get scared, and it’s okay to ask for help facing your fears. It’s just guy stuff.
A family classic in the making from the dream team of Newbery Honor-winner Gennifer Choldenko and Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat.
★ "[Choldenko's] knowing, understated storytelling and Santat’s warm, expressive spreads give full credence to the fears that weigh on kids, as well as the presences—both real and imagined—that can help alleviate them."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
Gennifer Choldenko is the New York Times bestselling and Newbery Honor Award-winning author of ten children's books, including A Giant Crush, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, and Al Capone Does My Shirts, Al Capone Shines My Shoes, and Al Capone Does My Homework. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.
★ "[Choldenko's] knowing, understated storytelling and Santat’s warm, expressive spreads give full credence to the fears that weigh on kids, as well as the presences—both real and imagined—that can help alleviate them."—Kirkus, starred review
★ "Intertwined with the themes of fear and bravery is a strong father-son relationship [. . . .] Teachers, librarians, and parents will find the book provides an opening for discussion about fears, security, and how their dads have loved and helped them."—School Library Connection, starred review
"Choldenko excels in creating believable characters whose empathy and emotional quotients match their other successes. . . This works as a story about bravery, as well as a paean to dads." —Booklist
"A winning book sure to attract and delight a wide audience. . . This is a modern story reminiscent of Dumbo and his 'magic' feather that readers will enjoy as they explore the ideas of bravery, ability, and what lies inside each of us. " —School Library Journal
"With the rediscovery of Nick's dino, his bravery returns as well, only this time, Nick isn't the only one who knows his secret, and he knows deep down that all guys are afraid sometimes [. . . .] Dads get it: being brave takes work . . . and a dinosaur." —Publishers Weekly
"[T]he boy-friendliness of Choldenko’s text is matched by Santat’s robust paintings that give the tiny toy dinosaur life—and heft!—as he appears super-dino-style on the scene as needed. And while Dad is a reliable, strong presence, what we don’t see is Dad’s face (except for his beard), allowing young readers to imagine whatever father figure they need in his features."—Horn Book Reviews