Review of Have You Seen My Invisible Dinosaur?

Have You Seen My Invisible Dinosaur?Have You Seen My Invisible Dinosaur?
by Helen Yoon; illus. by the author
Preschool    Candlewick    32 pp.
5/23    9781536226256    $18.99
e-book ed.  9781536232110    $18.99

How do you find something you can’t see? A pigtailed girl in a yellow pith helmet explains how she lost her invisible dinosaur. “He had gotten REALLY dirty.” A crayon drawing by the narrator shows her washing a muddy dinosaur-shaped figure. But once she hoses away the mud, the dinosaur disappears. Determined to find him, she makes a dino-load of PB&J sandwiches (his favorite snack) and leaves a trail of them, hoping to lure him back home. No luck, though the local wildlife is happy. She hangs “missing” posters, but a picture of an invisible dinosaur isn’t very helpful. A series of three double-page spreads features more of the narrator’s artwork showing how rain, snow, or a pile of leaves makes seeing the outline of her dinosaur easier—nicely hinting at how he’s revealed a few pages later. The story’s gentle pacing and effective page-turns help build suspense. Yoon’s (Off-Limits, rev. 11/21) uncluttered mixed-media illustrations have a breeziness that matches the tone of the text, telegraphing to listeners that there’s really nothing to worry about. If you know how to look, sometimes the impossible is ­possible.

From the May/June 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Kitty Flynn

Kitty Flynn is reviews editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

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