Head to any library and you're likely to find that dinosaur books for kids are a hot commodity. They may have gone extinct millions of years ago, but prehistoric creatures capture the interest of every generation. And it's no surprise, really! They're giant and mysterious, thrilling and even a little bit scary. (There's even science that suggests their dinosaur obsession could benefit their brain!)
As captivating subject matter for both fiction and non-fiction, dinosaurs as a topic transcend age and grade level, appearing in everything from rhyming bedtime stories and ABC books to thorough and fact-packed compendiums that will capture kids' attention for hours and hours.
We've rounded up some of the best kids' books about dinosaurs for a variety of ages that are perfect for budding paleontologists or kiddos who simply love a good story. Get ready to perfect your "ROAR"!
Dinosaur books for toddlers
Dinos + Dancing = pure delight. Don't expect to sit still while reading this silly rhyming book that will have toddlers giggling up a storm.
Forget A is for apple. A is for allosaurus! In this fun twist on a familiar genre, kids can learn the names of 26 different dinosaurs and interesting, digestible facts about each. Realistic depictions bring the prehistoric creatures to life and before you know it, your little Ross Gellar will be teaching you a few things.
Nothing builds a stellar vocabulary quite like reading—especially when the book is loaded with descriptive words! Featuring bright watercolor dinosaurs, little ones will delight in the rhyming text that professes a love for dinos of types from tiny to enormous, ones that gallop to ones that plod and everything in between.
Like the rest of this fact-filled series, Hello, World Dinosaurs is a toddler-friendly way to introduce dinosaur names and traits alongside bold illustrations that will keep their interest.
A sensory dino-themed adventure for the tiniest tots. The colorful board book features silly rhymes and touch-and-feel features that warn of the dangers of touching a dinosaur—warnings they'll delight in ignoring!
Lift the flaps and turn the wheels to unearth a plethora of prehistoric facts. This sturdy interactive book will keep their attention long before they can even pronounce words like "cretaceous" and "coelophysis." It's a great book to fuel their interests or kick off a trip to the museum.
Any child who's ever protested or prolonged the bedtime routine will be thrilled to see what happens when moms and dads try to put dinosaurs to bed. With a cast of ten different species squeezing into kid-sized rooms, the hilarious illustrations are sure to tickle their absurdist funny bone while the text itself can be helpful to parents who are riding the bedtime struggle bus. "Does a dinosaur slam his tail and pout? Does he throw his teddy bear all about?" No! And neither should you, kiddo.
Dinosaur books for preschoolers
There are pop-up books and then there are Robert Sabuda + Matthew Reinhart pop-up books. ( Sharks! Sea Monsters! Mega Beasts ! all masterfully executed to blow the minds of kids and adults alike.) Filled with breath-taking illustrations that literally spring off the page, this may be the most exciting dinosaur encyclopedia on the shelves. Alongside the 35+ pop-ups, this treasure of a book packs fascinating facts about the creatures and even the history of paleontology.
Big-hearted but small armed, Tiny has a huge problem. His pal Pointy needs cheering up and the only thing that will do is a hug. Kiddos will love the heart-warming tale that imparts an important lesson in overcoming limitations and proves the best hugs come from the biggest hearts.
Perfectly sized for small hands, this delightfully illustrated pop-up book is great for little ones who are just learning how to care for books. Each page showcases a dinosaur along with its name to keep things visual and simple.
Informative but kid-friendly, National Geographic Kids brings the prehistoric world to life with thrilling illustrations of both the dinosaurs and their environment. The format makes it easy for kids to get immersed in the pages with questions and fun facts they'll love to share.
Chances are, your dino-loving kiddo already knows everything about the usual suspects. (T. Rex, stegosaurus, brontosaurus, got it!) But there are countless other kinds to learn about! With its gorgeous watercolor illustrations and simple descriptions, The Colorful World of Dinosaurs introduces younger kids to 46 different dinosaurs, including ones they've likely never heard of.
A must-have for any mini fossil-hunter, My Encyclopedia of Very Important Dinosaurs explores the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, introducing even the most die-hard dino lovers to new (well, new to them) prehistoric creatures. With tons of facts and photos on every page, it's bound to capture their attention (and imagination) for quite some time.
Dinosaur books for elementary school and older kids
Our kids can't get enough of the Photicular books! Through their unique technology they turn plain old book pages into moving pictures that delight kids and parents equally. The Dinosaur edition brings long-extinct creatures to life in the most immersive and visually stimulating kid-friendly compendium out there.
It's important to fill our kids' bookshelves with stories of inspiring and trailblazing women . Not only to inspire but to highlight just how many unsung heroes they might not know about. Mary Anning, a British fossil collector helped pioneer a brand new field of study: paleontology.
Without a trip to a museum, visualizing the scale of dinosaurs can be challenging. In this "actual size" look at the prehistoric creatures they're obsessing over, fold out pages bring the awe to life.
You can feel the wind from my eye roll when dinosaur patterned clothes are relegated to the boy department. That's part of the reason this title gets top billing from me. While on a field trip to the natural history museum, the story's protagonist, a dino-loving girl named Kimmy gets some static from her classmate who questions whether girls can be paleontologists. With a powerful message about gender equality, this is one title that pulls double duty.
Dinosaurs: The Most Complete Up-To-Date Encyclopedia For Dinosaur Lovers Of All Ages by Dr. Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. and Luis V. Rey
It's called the "Dinosaur Bible" for a reason. This comprehensive guide to all things dinosaurs was written by one of the world's foremost experts uses terminology that's easy to understand but covers all aspects of dinosaur science. With over 800+ named species laid out over 426 pages, it's a dinophile's dream come true.
A classic for almost 30 years, Dinotopia explores what would happen if people and dinosaurs had co-existed. The concept is a feast for the imagination while the rich illustrations bring it all to life.
Compelling enough that they'll spend hours pouring through it under the covers and gorgeous enough to call it a coffee table book, Dinosaurium is a museum in book form. The oversize compendium explains in detail how dinosaurs are related and classified, offering information not often found in kids' dinosaur books.
The WhoHQ series is one of our favorite non-fiction series for early readers. Easy to digest and loaded with facts, this edition lets kids travel back to the time dinosaurs roamed the earth.
The Magic Treehouse series has been capturing the imagination of young readers for decades. As the first book in The New York Times best-selling series, Dinosaurs Before Dark takes siblings Jack and Annie from the magical treehouse library they've stumbled upon in the woods into the pages of a book about dinosaurs. From almost becoming a tyrannosaurus' dinner to escaping on the back of a pteranodon, this fun series never fails to unlock the joy of being transported to another place through reading.
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