Willis and Reynolds deliver a sharp tweak to the credulous, as just the rumor of a monster sighting prompts a mass migration of rubberneckers.
“One foggy, groggy morning / by the salty, splashy sea,” reports a moon-faced lad, “I’m sure I saw a dinosaur / and I’m sure that he saw me.” Word gets around fast, and in no time not just local residents but soldiers, sailors, scientists, divers and more have set up camps on the beach. They all bear expressions of open-mouthed wonder, and they search industriously for the elusive creature. Sharp-eyed viewers can join the search, as nearly every one of Reynolds’ full-spread, comical cartoon scenes features an unobtrusive glimpse of a green tail or part of a humped back with jagged ridges. In the end, it all turns out to be a marketing ploy, foisted by the young narrator (who is last seen dressed in a dino costume and grinning mischievously) on an unsuspecting public to drum up business for his dad’s ice-cream stand during the cold season. Just an innocent trick, ho ho.
Another slyly disquieting outing from the creators of Who’s in the Bathroom? (2007). (Picture book. 6-8)