Great Book Series for Kids: How Do Dinosaurs....?
Jul 25, 2011
Beginning with 'How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?', more than a dozen 'How Do Dinosaurs??' books have delighted children with their humorous situations and whimsical artwork. With deceptive simplicity and clever rhymes, they also perform multiple teaching roles, making them as parent-friendly as they are kid-friendly.
About the Series
The How Do Dinosaurs…? books are written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague. In each story, dinosaurs are cast in the roles of young children, with human parents and surroundings. In many of the books, the dinosaurs begin by resisting their parents or other adult figures. They exhibit bad behavior, acting out and pouting as a toddler might do. Eventually, they begin modeling proper manners, to the delight of those around them.
For example, in How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms? the dinosaurs start by carelessly tossing things around. A parasaurolophus shoves toys into his closet and a tuojiangosaurus stuffs dirty socks back in the back of his drawers. At the turn of the story, the dinosaurs change their ways. A brachiosaurus puts ripped paper in a wastebasket before his parents have to ask and an euoplocephalus dusts his shelves.
In other, simpler stories, the dinosaurs more directly teach a concept without histrionics. For example, the dinosaurs in How Do Dinosaurs Learn Their Colors? are shown interacting with variously colored objects throughout the day. On one page, a velociraptor carries an orange backpack. On another, an Apatosaurus draws brown circles with a crayon around a date on a calendar.
Two Lessons in One
Each book in the How Do Dinosaurs…? series offers to lessons for children. First, they teach a variety of simple lessons about life. The dinosaurs are very clearly acting like small children, with the same curiosities and apprehensions about the world that your child likely possesses. The books teach about counting, table manners and going to the doctor.
While your child learns about the world he or she encounters, the How Do Dinosaurs…? series also teaches about the titular creatures that lived millions of years ago. On each page of each book is a different dinosaur. While it's drawn to show it acting like a small child, it's also drawn with anatomical correctness and keen attention to detail.
The name of each dinosaur appears somewhere on each page; it might be spelled out with blocks or written below the dinosaur's tail. Through these stories, your child can learn to identify different types of dinosaurs. This includes those that that are well known, like a triceratops, and those that are more obscure, like a dimetrodon.
A Dynamic Author
Jane Yolen has written or edited over 300 books in multiple genres, including children's books, science fiction, folklore and fantasy. In addition to writing, she has made significant contributions to the literary world. She has served as president of Science Fiction Writers of America and on the Board of Directors of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. For many years, she ran a writer's workshop for children's book authors.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? the first in the series, is among the most widely recognized of her works. It was a Book of the Month Club's Best Picture Book of 2000, a Booklist Editor's Choice and one of nine Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Book Award winners in 2001. She also won a Nebula Award twice, for the short stories Sister Emily's Lightship and Lost Girls. Owl Moon and The Emperor and the Kite won Caldecott Medals. More recently, Yolen earned a Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Fantasy Awards in 2010.
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