I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I am a big fan of picture books. I still have favorites from my own childhood, and I have added some new favorites that I have discovered through my reading adventures with my daughters. I was very excited about the opportunity to read You Look Yummy with my daughters, especially after I found out that this is the first entry in an extremely popular series in Japan, China, Korea, and France.
You Look Yummy was written and illustrated by Tatsuya Miyanishi. The story begins with a big bang- quite literally! Volcanoes erupt and earthquakes rumble, and this causes a dinosaur egg to hatch. The baby Ankylosaurus pops out, and nearly meets a bad end at the hands of a gigantic Tyrannosaurus. The little baby thinks that the larger dinosaur is its father, and latches on to him. The gruff carnivore is taken aback by this display of affection, and finds himself protecting baby “Yummy” from another predator. The little Ankylosaurus brings “Daddy” fresh berries after noticing that he doesn’t seem to like eating grass. Daddy Dinosaur also tries to teach Yummy how to do Tyrannosaurus things, like whacking and ramming.
I am often reluctant to give away too much, but parents should know that the ending in this story is not necessarily a happy one. The Tyrannosaurus makes sure that Yummy is safe (with other Ankylosauruses), and then slips away. My experience with American picture books seems to result in many happy endings and/or resolution, and it’s worth mentioning so that others will be prepared for a more open-ended conclusion. My girls mentioned that they thought the ending was sad, but they also said that the Tyrannosaurus loved Yummy very much. I will admit that I got a little misty eyed at the Tyrannosaurus’ noble gesture.
The illustrations are perfect. Miyanishi uses earth tones for his dinosaur filled world, but the colors are bright. Miyanishi’s drawing style is rather simple, and the Tyrannosaurus is long and sinewy rather than being the squat powerhouse we are more familiar with. Yummy is as cute as a button; he is so small that he is often a little hard to see, but this seems to be intentional to illustrate the difference in size between the two dinosaurs.
I would absolutely recommend You Look Yummy to others. My girls are in first grade and third grade, and they enjoyed reading this story with me, but I think that children in preschool would enjoy this book as well. This book will definitely appeal to fans of dinosaurs because there is plenty of dinosaur action. I loved the sweet message about a father’s devotion to his son. I hope that the rest of this series is translated to English- I need to know what happens next with the Tyrannosaurus and Yummy!