Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

There’s a dinosaur on the 13th Floor!

There’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor, by Wade Bradford/Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, (Oct. 2018, Candlewick Press), $16.99, ISBN: 978-0-7636-8665-9

Ages 4-7

Poor Mr. Snore! The poor musician is exhausted when he checks into the Sharemore Hotel, but when the bellhop shows him to his room, there’s a mouse sleeping on his pillow! Mr. Snore complains to the front desk, and is given a room on the second floor – but there’s a literal hog hogging the blankets! So begins a journey through the hotel, where Mr. Snore encounters fish, spiders, giraffes, and more, until he reaches an empty room on the 13th floor – and proceeds to fall asleep. But wait! The dinosaur on the 13th floor calls the front desk, complaining that someone is sleeping on his pillow!

This is an adorable, light story for storytime or one-on-one reading. Endpapers bring readers into the story with illustrations of a city scene: a cab driving away from a concert hall, and the Strathmore Hotel, its lobby light on, like a beacon, in the night. Mr. Snore walks into the hotel wearing a tuxedo and holding a violin case, letting readers use context clues to figure out that he’s a musician. It’s a nice added touch. The arylic and ink artwork has a nice retro feel; the bellhop looks like someone out of a Busby Berkeley movie, and the hotel has jungle-meets-art deco touches to it that really creates an atmosphere for readers. Mr. Snore is played for laughs; he’s got a small stature and a giant nose; a pair of glasses perched precariously on the end.

I have way too much fun with this story, which has entered regular bedtime reading rotation at my house. Let kids try out different snores for the mouse (squeak), pig, (snore), fish (blub blub), and other animals. This could be a fun flannel story, letting kids add different animals to a big bed. Put the song “Ten in the Bed” into your storytime for a fun, crowded bed song. This one’s a fun add to your picture book and storytime collections.

Author Wade Bradford has free, downloadable resources, including plays for kids, on his author website. Kevin Hawkes is an award-winning illustrator. Visit his website for more of his artwork and information about his books.