Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko, illustrated by Dan Santat. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2017. 9780399243530.
I’ve met Santat a few times since Sidekicks was published, and the way his happiness and enthusiasm permeate his art makes every book he illustrates worth reading. The “glowing” quality of this book’s pictures make them look like something between paintings and art created for a tablet. They’re utterly beautiful.
Nicholas is afraid of the dark (and a lot of other things), but he has help being brave — he clutches his toy dinosaur and imagines a ferocious, gigantic companion that can easily deal with everything he fears. But one day, after a soccer game, his dinosaur is gone. Nicholas freaks out. Luckily his dad is there to help.
Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin, illustrated by Samantha Cotterill. 2017. 9781101993897.
Charlotte wants a pet, and she doesn’t care what it is. Her parents buy her a big, round rock. They hang out a lot and do almost everything together, but the rock doesn’t love her. And then it hatches because (spoiler alert) it’s not really a rock. (You can probably guess what comes out from the title of this blog post.)
Cotterill’s drawings are very cartoony, and are notable for their use of patterns and textures, particularly on clothing and the surface of the Charlotte’s pet. It’s very fun.