How to meet, and have fun with, a shy, easily startled dinosaur.
The trick, the narrator cautions, is to be not too loud (or soft), but to speak in “a nice, medium-sounding voice. Bold, yet gentle.” Try singing the “Happy Birthday” song, because every day is someone’s birthday, and anyway Crunch “loves days in general. He’s very positive.” Give the big red sauropod in Pizzoli’s simple cartoon illustrations a bit of time, and enough space, and he may well step out from behind the sheltering screen of trees to relax in your company or even dance or paint your name on a rock. The illustrations will have children and adults chuckling, as the not-insubstantial Crunch attempts to hide in the boughs of a rather small tree and as his expressions change from dubious to delighted. By lying down and saying “Good night, Crunch” in a “calm and soothing voice,” you might even get him—“tired from all the climbing and painting and socializing”—to lie down too. Is he asleep? Then close the book gently. The agenda is barely disguised, but the interchange between narrator and audience has an easy, natural flow.
The approach works for shy nondinosaurs, too. (Picture book. 5-7)