Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dad and the Dinosaur” as Want to Read:
Dad and the Dinosaur
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dad and the Dinosaur

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,317 ratings  ·  256 reviews
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
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 28th 2017 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dad and the Dinosaur, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,317 ratings  ·  256 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Dad and the Dinosaur
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: youth, 2017
My department is pretty uniform in not liking this book!! I really didn't like the dad and the son both blowing off the mom (It's guy stuff; we won't tell her), the idea that fear/anxiety is something to hide, no recognition that it wasn't the dinosaur--he was brave himself, etc. I feel like this would seriously reinforce a lot of kids' anxieties, especially kids who had an anxiety disorder. The art was great, but honestly, I expect so much more from this author. ...more
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has amazing illustrations that I could stare at all day. The use of color and shadow are perfection. The story is about Nate and his dinosaur that gives him strength to overcome scary things in life. A story that will resonate with parents and children alike.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, picture-books
I read an early ARC of this picture book, and it's as wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated as one would expect from this team. But it also reinforces the idea of experiencing and admitting fear as unmasculine ("guy stuff," "don't tell mom"), which left a sour taste in my mouth, sweet and realistic though it may be. ...more
Apr 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is the second picture book by Choldenko that I have read and come away feeling a little sick. Really didn't like "Putting the Monkeys to Bed". This one's worse. I think she should stick to longer fiction. It's not a healthy thing for kids to hide their fears. They should talk to their parents about them. BOTH their parents. FACELESS Dad in this book is a paragon of manhood. Caring mother whose face we do see gets blown off. The more I think about it the worse I feel this book is & don't thi ...more
Mary Ann
I love how Gennifer Choldenko's newest picture book, Dad and the Dinosaur, normalizes fear, and lets us know that we can move forward. Gennifer Choldenko and Dan Santat are a terrific team here, showing Nicholas's courage as the dinosaur helps make him strong. The dinosaur is ginormous as it helps him score the winning soccer goal when he played against the goalie they called Gorilla.

Part of me expected the story to take the "tough love" approach when Nicholas loses his dinosaur. As an adult, I
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more picture book reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

"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." Nic uses a dinosaur figure to do things that scare him... but what does he do when he looses his lucky charm? He goes to his dad!

I was really taken with the art in this book. Every spread is not gorgeous but the art goes a long way in telling the story. And there are some
Colona Public Library
I loved the illustrations in this book. The color scheme was terrific. However. I am a little disappointed in the ending. The book was about a little boy who kept a tiny dinosaur in his pocket because he was afraid of certain things like the dark, but his dinosaur was not. When after a soccer game, he loses his dinosaur and suddenly the world to him is a scary place. I like the fact that he looks up to his dad and tells him the truth about the dinosaur. I don't like that both him and his son go ...more
Steve Holden
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is a tough review for me, as I rarely rate picture books below par. My intention in reviewing a picture book a day is to focus on my favorites and new ones that I want to have a reference for in making sure I always use or have available in my classroom. I'm not here to rip on books or to be a difficult critic. I just can't help myself on this one, however, so I'm going put out some thoughts on just seeing this one widely available and reading it once.


It's beautifully illustrated! The
Sep 12, 2016 rated it liked it
idk. The illustrations are gorgeous but I'm not sure how I feel about the mom being completely sidelined. ...more
Featured in a grandma reads session.

More about dads! We love celebrating our Dads!
Sarah Daniluk
Jan 26, 2021 rated it did not like it

1. You're not brave nor can you be without assistance
2. Don't show mom feelings
3. Dad knows best, let's leave mom out of "guy stuff"
4. Don't be okay with feeling weak or afraid, let's find a way to not talk about such things
Rebecca Palermo
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nicholas is fearful, but wants to be more brave like his dad. Nicholas has a toy dinosaur to help him overcome his fears because dinosaurs aren't afraid on anything. He takes the dinosaur everywhere until one day he loses it; but luckily, dad is there to help him find it and Nicholas is brave again.

I thought this book was cute for children because shows a kid trying to overcome his fears. It is also relatable for children because it comes from the perspective of a child and a
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dads and Dinosaurs make you brave!

It's a sweet book about father/son relationships and bravery. Gorgeous illustrations and an unexpected direction for the ending (not sure I like it but it was unexpected, so points! I guess?) A lovely book to read with a young kid whose imagination causes them more than the usual amount of fear and wonder.
I loved it- especially the son and dad moment. Every child needs to know they are special and I think this book conveys the love between this boy and his dad beautifully.
Reaching a hand in my pocket I brush my fingers over the five smooth stones. For decades they have been my constant traveling companions, in a jacket or pair of jeans, on the dashboard of the car or on the kitchen window sill, ready for our next adventure. Are you thinking, why five smooth stones? According to accounts David had five stones with him when facing Goliath. It wasn't that he lacked courage or faith but he believed in being prepared. Goliath had four other family members.

My dad, one
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed sharing this SC Picture Book Nominee with my K-2 students last week! The students really enjoyed it and we had great conversations about what makes us feel safe and loved. I even had a couple of kindergartners who had a small toy dinosaur with them (and they promptly stored them in their socks!).
I really loved the story and illustrations in this book, but I really HATED how the dad and his son blew the mom off at the end of the story to "do guy stuff." I get the idea behind it, and think it is a very sweet, but I think it unnecessarily isolates the mom in the story, and wish that different text had been used to communicate the bonding taking place between the dad and son. ...more
Ana Marlatt
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I thought this book might be about overcoming fears... but it wasn’t. Maybe there is a volume 2 coming? To me, this reaffirms dependency, but maybe I am overthinking it. Loved the illustrations, and I did enjoy the relationship between father and son.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
The second star is for the illustrations, although they're not that special. The story is unsatisfying to say the least and sends weird messages. ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sweet :)
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
What an tender story of a father and son relationship. I love the combo of Newberry honor winner author Gennifer Choldenko and Caldecott award winner illustrator Dan Santat. Amazing pairing! Santat's illustrations bring to life Choldenko's story of bravery, courage, and perserverance. ...more
Jolyce Abernathy
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations by Dan Santat (as always) and a great story about a dad that goes the extra mile for his child. Sweet, positive and encouraging.
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really love this book. Shows again how Choldenko is a wonderful author, and I love Dan Santat's interpretation of the text. ...more
Brittany Gaskins
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 21-30
Summary: Nicholas is fearful of many minor things and has found something that makes him feel more secure. He thinks the dinosaur is what does it all for him. One day when his dino is misplaced, dad helps him find it and he realizes it isn't just a figure that can help with making us brave, but it could be the people who encourage us to be brave.
Eval: I thought this was a cute book for young readers. It shows how we all have things we worry about and are afraid of, but we always have someone th
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
The illustrations are engaging, but the story wasn't fulfilling. ...more
Malia Gaddis
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Summary: The story tells about a young boy that is much braver when he has his toy dinosaur. After losing the toy, his dad comes to the rescue and goes on a mission to help him find it.

Evaluation: This book is something that could happen, but most likely never going to. The book also has real characters, but the dinosaur isn't real. The illustrations in the book are good, but I think the story could contain more details.

Teaching: I would use this story to teach about text to self. After readin
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
In case you somehow missed it, I have a dinosaur loving preschooler, so when this book showed up on my doorstep for review, he was thrilled. We read a lot of dinosaur books, which I have mentioned before, but Dad and the Dinosaur one is one of our favorites.

What makes it stand out? The fact that it's so, so relatable. It's about a young boy named Nicholas, who, like a lot of other young children, is afraid of many things. But he doesn't let these fears stop him as he has a plastic dinosaur that
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
The ending's definitely weird, though I'm not as cranked about it as other people. I didn't mind the "guy stuff" part... because sometimes you just need time with your dad. If there was role reversal and mom and son ran off to do "mother-son stuff," would anyone be mad? While I did expect him to be told 'but YOU are the brave one!' and he'd magically never need his dinosaur anymore, I was glad that it didn't end that way... though I also think the ending needed to be more than what it was. Not e ...more
Laura Giessler
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Powerful author-illustrator team. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I was a bit disappointed in the message here. A boy relies on his toy dinosaur to face his fears, but when lost, he and his dad seem to miss the opportunity for growth. Maybe he's not ready to let go yet and this is intended to celebrate he father-son bond, but it left me wanting more. ...more
Jillian Heise
Such a sweet story of bravery, courage, and paternal support. Buy this for all the dads, or soon-to-be dads in your life.
Paul with stories about Dads like Tell Me a Tattoo Story, or facing fears like Orion & the Dark.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Eyes That Speak to the Stars
  • It Fell from the Sky
  • Mel Fell
  • There’s A Ghost In This House
  • Vampenguin
  • The Camping Trip
  • Jabari Jumps
  • Trucks on Trucks
  • Everybody in the Red Brick Building
  • Bear Is a Bear
  • The Hiking Viking
  • Sylvie
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff
  • The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster
  • Something's Wrong!: A Bear, a Hare, and Some Underwear
  • How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read?
  • Bike & Trike
  • All Cats Welcome
See similar books…
See top shelves…
There’s a Lego in my bum which fits with the Lego in my chair and when I sit down to write, I hear the satisfying snap of the two pieces fitting together. I love words, dictionaries, thesauruses, sharp pencils, the smell of book ink and the delicious art of carving out sentences on clean white paper. I love to slip into another person’s skin and feel what it’s like to live another life. I love whe ...more

News & Interviews

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
9 likes · 0 comments