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Danny and the Dinosaur is a popular children's book by Syd Hoff, first published by Harper & Brothers in 1958. It has sold over six million copies and has been translated into a dozen languages. The book inspired two sequels by Syd Hoff: Happy Birthday, Danny and the Dinosaur! and Danny and the Dinosaur Go to Camp. It also won the distinction of New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year.
Danny and the Dinosaur is designated an "I Can Read Book".
"One day Danny went to the museum" is the beginning of the book. In the museum, Danny sees other things, but is almost immediately drawn to the dinosaur section and is delighted to find a living dinosaur. Both agree to play with each other, and Danny rides out of the museum on the dinosaur's neck.
Danny and his dinosaur buddy embark on an adventure-filled day, including:
- the dinosaur confusing a building for a rock
- attending a baseball game
- eating ice cream instead of grass
- going to the zoo
- playing hide and seek with other children
The dinosaur is well-intentioned throughout the story, for he helps a lady cross the street, takes Danny across a river and lets the children use him as a slide. He's also a celebrity, as the illustrations show hundreds of people leave the zoo to play with Danny.
Danny and the Dinosaur ends late in the day as all the children return home. Danny waits until the dinosaur walks back to the museum. While walking home, Danny thinks about one of the things first stated in the story: he wants a dinosaur for a pet, but realizes a dinosaur is too big to live at his house. As he walks up the driveway, Danny has his last line: "But we did have a wonderful day."