Dad and the Dinosaur
Dad and the Dinosaur
Dad and the Dinosaur
by Gennifer Choldenko
illustrated by Dan Santat
ages 4 to 9
G.P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN 978-0-399-24353-0


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.


Alabama Children's Choice Book Award nominee
Camellia Book Award nominee (Alabama Children's Choice)
Capitol Choices 2018 Reading List
Colorado Children’s Choice Book Award nominee
French language edition
Georgia: Children’s Book Award nominee
Junior Library Guild
Kansas: Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award nominee 2019
South Carolina School Library Book Award Nominee
Wisconsin's Picture This Reading List


“Choldenko’s poignant fantasy envisions a father who, like a certain tyrannosaur, looms large in his son’s mind. Her 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

“A winning book sure to attract and delight a wide audience.” —School Library Journal

“Multilayered, realistic illustrations combined with relatable text make the story not only about the inner turmoil of a little boy, but a deeper reflection on the bond between a father and son.” —Washington Post

“With a Newbery Honor book to her credit, [Choldenko] creates dear characters that move through a mildly suspenseful plot to find answers…. Wonderfully expressive multimedia art by a Caldecott Medalist establishes dramatic scenes, full of fears and fearlessness, anxiety and appreciation.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“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

“One of my new favorite dad books." —The Salt Lake Tribune

“Gennifer Choldenko pays respect to the code of manly courage … In Dan Santat’s rich moody illustrations, the dinosaur looms protectively over the boy as a powerful alter ego.”—Wall Street Journal

“Choldenko has written a perfect gift for Father’s Day.” —San Jose Mercury News

“Exciting, dramatic artwork seems to pop out of these big pages…. A super choice for Father’s Day.” —The Atlanta Journal Constitution

“A sweet book for Father's Day.” —Omaha World Herald

“A sweet and moving tale about childhood fears and the special bond between a father and son.” —Bay Area Parent

“When [Nicholas] loses [his dinosaur], it is his father that comes to his rescue and helps him see that they can be fearless together.” —Western New York Family Magazine

“I like it because there’s a dinosaur and a little boy like me in it, and I like dinosaurs. I like that he plays sports.” —Honolulu Family, 6-year-old reviewer

“A touching story about being brave.” —Brightly

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