A variation on “The boy who cried wolf,” set well before Aesop existed—or, for that matter, boys and wolves.
Following parental warnings—“His feet go STOMP! / His jaws go CRUNCH! / In the blink of an eye, / you’d be his LUNCH!”—little Bonehead volunteers to be a lookout for his three timorous hatchling buddies. Several bogus alarms and one nearly fatal encounter with the titular monster ensue. Except for the invented Gigantosaurus, the dinos in Duddle’s luxuriantly detailed prehistoric scenes are all named and recognizable, if somewhat anthropomorphized, versions of real ones—Bonehead is an Ankylosaurus, and his pals are a Triceratops, a Parasaurolophus and a Brachiosaurus. For comedic effect, though, he exaggerates the size differential between the popeyed youngsters and the grown-ups, who are all so humongous that often only portions of their heads or feet fit into the frame. Rearing up on a foldout page, toothy Gigantosaurus makes a particularly rousing climactic entrance.
A delight for dinosaur devotees, with a rhyming text and repetitive structure that will make it a storytime winner as well. (Picture book. 5-9)