One book is bilingual in Spanish as well!
4 years and up
Various, see each book.
summary: You may or may not know, but I love dinosaurs. If I had realized it was a job to put together bones for museum exhibits as a child, I definitely would have done that. Today, I’m thrilled to be able to share 6 books that are all about dinosaurs and fossils. Why? Why not.
Fascinating World of Paleontology
This book is an awesome mix of information and activities! The potentially unfamiliar words to the reader are in all capital letters, and correlate to a glossary in the back. About half of the book reads like a story and the other is activities which are creative and hands-on. Do I want to fossilize stuff in jello like bugs get encased in amber? Yup, sure do.
This is a great introductory book with pretty diverse characters, and could be a great way for those readers that like hands-on activities to either extend learning or engage them. There are paleontologists of note in the back, which are mostly white-passing folks, but I appreciate the extra individuals to check out for the extra interested reader.
LPBD: Mary Anning
This is one of my favorite introductory series for young readers interested in non-fiction and biographies. I would venture to say that most dinosaur lovers and budding paleontologists have heard of Mary Anning.
Mary was a young girl that helped her father collect shells to sell to tourists, and only went to school one day a week. When a woman that bought some of her findings gave her a book about fossils, Mary realized that some of the funky shaped shells were actually dinosaur bones! This became her greatest passion in life, and she became the first person to find complete skeletons of several types of dinosaurs. She is yet another example of an intelligent and talented woman that had her knowledge stolen and uncredited by male scientists of her time, but she contributed an immense amount to the field of paleontology.
Rosa Loves Dinosaurs/A Rosa le encantan los dinosaurios
Rosa is the coolest and I wish we were friends. This bilingual board book follows Rosa on a day playing with friends, this time she takes her collection of dinosaurs with her. Rosa is a wonderful character, and I especially love the bilingual versions. Some of my favorite lines to read aloud are the onomatopoeia translations!
I love Rosa because she is just herself, and has a diverse group of friends. Characters that wear glasses young like Rosa are a delight to see as well, especially as someone that has worn glasses most of their life. Overall a sweet and wonderful board book!
Ultimate Earth: Dinosaurs
Who doesn’t love a book filled with flaps?? This dinosaur book has bright and fantastical colors, and I love that the flaps reveal what their skeletons look like. The double page spreads are categorized into things like “weird and wonderful” (obviously my favorite!), “disguise and display”, and some flaps are overlapping (over-flapping?) and page-sized.
The dinosaurs named are pretty lengthy in syllables, and I like how that can encourage reading and sounding-out skills in readers, as well as engage them by writing about hypothesis’ relating to some dinosaurs that we don’t know much about. The last page is all about why they went extinct, which is something that I’ve always been fascinated with. One of my favorite dinosaurs profiled in the book is a pack of Ornithomimus, which may have been striped like zebras to confuse predators!
Do You Know?: Dinosaurs and the Prehistoric World
This is a sturdy book with cartoonish illustrations and tons of knowledge packed inside. The pages aren’t quite cardboard, but more like cardstock. This would have been a big hit in the classroom, and can handle a lot of heavy use.
I like the layout of this book, and there are sidebars on each page with a question like “how did dinosaurs get along?” or “what did dinosaurs smell like?”. This is the perfect way to use student-led inquiry in the classroom and involve books. I’ve definitely been chatting with previous students and current kids that attend my weekly read aloud and have heard these exact questions. How are dinosaurs related to iguanas? Not sure, let’s consult this book and figure it out! In the back of the book is a section that asks the reader review questions as well as another section about life after dinosaurs. This book is really fabulous and not to be missed!
Fossils From Lost Worlds
I cannot express how amazingly cool this book is! This book is really big, and the illustrations are beautifully detailed. Starting with the table on contents, I appreciate the tiny pictures to help spur recognition (personally, I can’t remember the exact name for propalaeotherium but I do remember that it’s a miniature horse and my memory was jogged by a picture of the fossil) as well as choose to check out a specific time period or type of prehistoric animals.
This is one of those books that you can read cover to cover, flip to a section, and just open to a random page and learn something new. The large scientific illustrations also have little fact bubbles scattered over the pages, which I love and think it makes the information more easily digestible and less big intimidating blocks of text. There are also some pages with graphic novel style setups that answer a question, such as “how did diplodocus become a celebratory” (a question that I never knew I desperately needed answered) and give a timeline of events that answer it. Overall, I’m seriously hooked on this book and it’s perfect for elementary aged readers!