Crunch the Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap, illus. by Greg Pizzoli

Recently, one of my critique partners suggested I read Crunch The Shy Dinosaur written by Cirocco Dunlap, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli.

I was taken with this book before I even opened it up.

I love that a dinosaur is shy. A dinosaur!

I mean if a DINOSAUR can be shy, it makes perfect sense that anybody can be shy.

Now check out the first spread:

Genius, right?

It is not often that I laugh out loud when reading a book, and this book make me do it on the first spread?! What??!!

I could barely wait to see what the second spread would bring.

Of course, the reader can’t get it right the first time. Too loud. Or the second time:

How much do I love just how UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE this dinosaur gets to the reader? Answer: so very much.

This book is funny. It is charming. It is relatable.

To me, that’s the trifecta.

But I’m not the only one who fell for this shy dinosaur.

Behold these reviews!

“Crunch is a hot-pink, nonthreatening dinosaur. An unseen narrator gives readers a series of directions on how to interact with him, setting up an entertaining, interactive story experience. Larger lessons about how to relate to others lurk beneath the surface of this lighthearted tale. An excellent interactive choice.”
-School Library Journal  

 “The illustrations will have children and adults chuckling, as the not-insubstantial Crunch attempts to hide in the boughs of a rather small tree and as his expressions change from dubious to delighted.” -Kirkus Reviews

Now head for your local bookstore or library and say hello to this book. Just make sure you’re not too loud. Or too quiet. Use a nice, medium-sounding voice.

(My apologies for the screenshots of the spreads. They do not adequately convey the awesomeness.)

Tammi Sauer

Tammi Sauer, a former teacher and library media specialist, is a full-time children's book author who presents at schools and conferences across the country. She has more than 30 published picture books and has many others on the way. Her books have received awards, earned starred reviews, made lists, been made into musicals, and been translated into many different languages. Most importantly, kids really like her books! To learn more about Tammi and her books, please visit and follow her on Twitter at @SauerTammi.


  1. Just added this one to my library holds!

  2. This will be a kid favorite! Thanks for sharing.

  3. How cute! I’ll be on the lookout for it. Thanks, Tammi!

  4. How fun this would be to read to a child!

  5. This is adorable! I LOVE it! (from, the shy kid)

  6. Michael Henriksen

    Thanks for this funny, charming and relatable recommendation!
    I’ll definitely check this out!

  7. What a hoot! This dinosaur is so lovable.

  8. Love those 👀 peeking!
    Cuteness alert!
    Thanks for sharing Tammi

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