Roar, Giganto, Roar! by Cyber Group Studios

Gigantosaurus: Roar, Giganto, Roar!: A Puppet Book by Cyber Group Studios. Candlewick, 2021. 9781536222494

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 2

Format: Board book

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book?  This oversized board book features a plush puppet of Giganto, who unbeknownst to me before this encounter, appears in his own Disney TV series. The puppet is firmly attached to the back of the book and his head pokes through a large hole in the center of the contraption. On each double-paged spread, slick digital artwork shows Mazu, Tiny, Rocky, and Bill (characters from the show) yelling (indicated by talk bubbles) for Giganto to perform some action: roaring, eating, dancing, etc. Presumably either the reading adult or the listening child is supposed to act out the commands. The puppet seems sturdy enough and it’s possible to get one’s fingers into each part of the jaw, thus more effectively conveying verisimilitude.

Anything you didn’t like about it? It strains credulity to call this a book; it’s a novelty item with pages you can turn. Actually, the size of Giganto’s head makes it very difficult to turn the pages, thus further distancing the object from bookishness. Also, it would be impossible for either the reader or the listener to hold the book while operating the puppet. It would have made more sense to liberate Giganto from the back page so that he could participate in the fun. Also, in the current set-up, his head bears an unfortunate resemblance to a hunting trophy over a fireplace.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This seems like an impulse buy for indulgent adults with committed fans of the show at home.

Who should buy this book? It wouldn’t work in a public or school library (how would you shelve it?), but could possibly be a toy for home.

Where would you shelve it? Board books, although as mentioned above, the protruding head would make shelving a challenge.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA

Date of review: October 17, 2021

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