Rory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Rory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad Book Poster Image
Charming, fresh take on the father-son bond.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Models a loving father-son relationship.

Positive Messages

It feels good to do things all by yourself, but it's also fun to share adventures with your dad. Your parent watches out for you, even when you're not aware of it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rory is an adventure-loving, independent kid who thinks things through and tries to be well-prepared when he goes off on an adventure. He loves his dad, enjoys doing things with him, and is respectful of his dad's desire for quiet time to read. Rory's dad is loving and caring and doesn't oppose Rory's urge to be independent, but secretly he watches over him to make sure he's safe and sheltered form the rain and that he has enough to drink.

Violence & Scariness

A wild pig runs toward Rory, but it's not scary. Rory (and, secretly, his dad) roar at him to scare him away.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad is a gentle story that celebrates a kid's longing for independence and his father's desire to make sure he's OK. Author-illustrator Liz Climo, a character artist for The Simpsons, embues her dinos with sweet personalities, humor, and an adventurous spirit. It's a fun romp for Father's Day or any day.

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What's the story?

Little dino Rory wants to go on an adventure "all by myself," so when he sees his dad quietly reading in a hammock, he takes off. But all along the way, his dad lends an unseen helping hand as Rory crosses a river, scares off a wild pig, discovers a coconut ("I found something to drink all by myself!"), and finds a dry place in a rainstorm. Dad paves the way when Rory returns home, too, never letting on he's been with him all along.

Is it any good?

This is a warm, fresh take on the father-son relationship. It shows the eagerness of a kid to be independent and the loving nature of a dad who wants to help his kid have a successful adventure -- and not miss out on any of the fun. Author-illustrator Liz Climo uses spare lines and matte color illustrations on stark white pages to capture the emotions of this loving pair and sets Rory's thoughts off in childlike hand-written lettering.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about doing things on your own. What can you do without a parent's help? What's your favorite thing to do with your dad, mom, or caregiver?

  • What do you think of how the dinosaurs are drawn? Are they realistic? Can you imagine a T. rex being as nice and cute as Rory?

  • Draw a picture of an adventure you'd like to have with or without your dad.

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and dad stories

Themes & Topics

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