Wade Bradford has created something subtlety different with There’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor. It has some interesting twists (the story comes full circle by the end). The counting aspect is surprisingly fun. I was not really aware of that until a couple floors up and then was, “DUH! It is part counting book.” The ending has its charm (that afore mentioned twist).
Kevin Hawkes adds a delightful touch to the story with their illustrations. He is one of those artists that you can see similarities to their works, but not always a signature style. This is not what I think of when I think of Hawkes work, but it is defiantly pure Hawkes. The whimsy of the art lends itself to the whimsy of the story.
Yet, I cannot say I am jumping up and down over this book. The story is Mr. Snore has had a long way. One assumes we know what will happen due to his Jimmy Durante look-alike feature and name. However, what happens is all the silly things that could happen to a person who is just trying to get a good night’s sleep. Finally, when we meet the dinosaur, it does not work out as probably you think it will.
It is a cute story. I would purchase it in the traditional hardcover picture book format. Though I think paperback format would suit it better. If it ever goes into board book, it needs to be a larger lap-sized one. There is a bit of text, therefore it needs a larger venue to display all of it.