The Best Dinosaur a Family Ever Had
(A Review of William Joyce’s Dinosaur Bob
and his Adventures with the Family Lazardo)
The Lazardo family is anything but normal, so it’s not quite surprising that when little Scotty finds a dinosaur during one of their family trips in an African safari, they quickly adopts it, names it Bob (for the animal strikes a funny resemblance with Mrs. Lazardo’s uncle), and takes it home all the way to Pimlico Hills before the start of the baseball season.
William Joyce’s storytelling moves smoothly along with his adorable illustrations and shows a perfect combination of integrating the whimsical into commonplace events — as if owning and keeping a gigantic dinosaur for a pet is the most normal thing in the world; as if riding its back across the Nile and feeding it with peanut-butter-and-bologna sandwiches and 400 double Dutch chocolate cakes for a little bedtime snack on a cruise back home in a luxury liner is the most natural way to coddle a pet; as if knowing how to play baseball and later joining the local baseball team (and having the knack to play the trumpet) is the most typical talent an animal could ever have.
Yet as silly as it sounds (well, what can you expect from a children’s picture book?) you just take it all in, enjoying its hilarity, and what will you make read and come back to it again and again is its wonderful drawing full of quirky details that never fails to give its reader something to snigger at or two. Overall, it’s a charming little tale totally for young readers out there who want to travel to exotic places, love baseball, and wishfully dream of a dinosaur for a pet.
Dinosaur Bob might be the one for you.