It’s always surprising to me that youngsters can’t seem to read enough about dinosaurs. So here is a compilation of some of the best and newest picture books on the subject.
Let’s begin with books for the budding paleontologists up to the age of 7. The “Little Scholastic” series for babies up to age 2 have a new hand-puppet board book. Hello, Dinosaurs! features five colorful soft-fabric dinosaurs to place on tiny fingers. A small board book about colors and dinosaurs is located on the palm of this delightful hand puppet.
Dino Parade!, by Thom Wiley, and illustrated by Benji Davies, folds out into a full, board-page parade with many colorful dinosaurs. The shapes of each dinosaur are accentuated on the four foot pull-out.
No T. Rex in the Library, by Toni Buzzeo, and illustrated with lively bright mixed-media by Sachiko Yoshikawa, is a great celebration of reading and all the great stories and characters that can come alive in a book. When Tess is noisy in the library, her mother puts her in “time-out” where she knocks over a shelf of books. Out jumps a dinosaur and Tess jumps on his back and the adventure begins. Librarians will love this book as it also teaches the importance of taking care of books.
The Tyrannosaurus Game, by Steven Kroll, and illustrated with wonderful watercolors, gouache and ink by S. D. Schindler, shows how creativity can entertain a group of children. It’s raining outside so the teacher has her students make up a continuing story where one begins and another continues the story. The first student begins with a T. Rex crashing through a window and the next student tells how it ate the breakfast. Don’t forget to check out the last page and see what happens to the beast.
Dinosaur Sticker Atlas, by David Burnie, and illustrated by Anthony Lewis, features over 150 dinosaur stickers and 8 maps along with interesting information and background about this subject.
Chalk, by Bill Thomson, is a visual story with no text. Children discover that their chalk is magical and soon their chalk drawings on the pavement come alive. The vivid acrylic and colored pencils make this adventure almost magically jump off the page.
I’m Big, by Kate & Jim McMullan, is the third book in their series with the same watercolor and bold painting style. A late-rising dinosaur has been left behind when his herd vacates their spot. As he searches, he encounters many different dinosaurs. But trouble ensues when he is surrounded by some ferocious beasts. He comes up with a clever idea to survive.
Here are two books in the “How Do Dinosaurs…” series. How Do Dinosaurs Laugh Out Loud?, by Jane Yolen, and illustrated by Mark Teague, is a fun board book that includes some fun lift-the-flaps. How Do Dinosaurs Play all Day?, also by Yolen and Teague, shows many daily dinosaur antics along with 70 stickers to include in the story.
Brontorina, by James Howe, and perfectly painted with oil by Randy Cecil, catches the zeal to deal with difficulty. Brontorina has a big dream to dance; however she’s so large that she barely fits in the dance studio. Solving these, and more, difficulties will surely inspire all to dream big!
Dear Tyrannosaurus Rex, by Lisa McClatchy, and dazzlingly painted by John Manders, begins with young Erin as she writes to this enormous beast to come to her sixth birthday party. The entire book, with the exception of the last page, has her writing about all the gaiety and ingenious events of what to expect at her party. The last page will bring a large smile to all readers!
Rumble, Roar, Dinosaur!, by Tony Mitton, and cleverly illustrated by Lynne Chapman, lists fun and informative poems with creative lift-the-flaps making learning not only fun, but memorable. The illustrator has made these beasts with personalities of their own!
Here’s a great beginning reading series, level 2, from “Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science”. Where Did Dinosaurs Come From?, by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld, and illustrated by Lucia Washburn, teaches the basics of these prehistoric creatures and some of the facts behind them.
The rest of the books, with the exception of the last book, are non-fiction books geared for ages 8 and older. Dinosaur Park, by Hannah Wilson, and illustrated by Steve Weston, is a most intriguing and interactive exploration book about these beasts. There are four full-page scenes of prehistoric earth with a question asked on each page. Included is a “field guide” full of factual information as well as nine press-out dinosaur pieces to take along through the scenes. This is great fun and a perfect companion in the car or on a trip.
Dinosaurs, (Explorer Series), by Dougal Dixon, and illustrated by Peter Bull, is an informative book that’s kid friendly with full-page art that’s so lively children will not put this book down! Dinosaurs, (Kingfisher Knowledge Series), by Nigel Marven, is all about the study of some of the greatest fossil finds. And if you could only have one book of facts on this animal, The Kingfisher Dinosaur Encyclopedia, by Michael Benton, would be the one to own. This 160 page volume is packed with interesting facts and the illustrations and photos invite the reader to peruse each page.
Lulu and the Brontosaurus, by Judith Viorst, and illustrated with perfect pencil and texture-rubbings by Lane Smith, is a story about young, spoiled Lucy as her parents give in to her every whim, until she decides she wants this large creature. When they say no, she sets out to the forest to get one for herself. This delightful read-aloud even has 3 different endings for the listener to choose!