28 Favorite Dinosaur Books for Kids
The awesomeness of dinosaur books for kids is no secret. Dinosaur fiction stories capture kids’ imagination and make for great read alouds. Dino information books naturally inspire future scientists. Check out this list of our favorites from both genres.
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Dino-rrific Fiction Dinosaur Books for Kids
1. Dinosaurs on the Go series by Penny Dale (pre-K–1)
This series merges dinosaurs and other high-interest topics. Think farm vehicles, space exploration, construction, emergency rescue vehicles, pirate treasure, and more. We love them for working on print concepts and phonological awareness. They’re also perfect for practice making inferences using pictures.
2. We Love Dinosaurs by Lucy Volpin (pre-K–1)
This rhyming text professes its love for dinosaurs of all shapes, sizes, and habits. We love all the descriptive vocabulary!
3. How Do Dinosaurs … series by Jane Yolen (pre-K–1)
This classic series has withstood the test of time. We love these titles for modeling visualization, reading with expression, and attending to punctuation. Plus, they’re full of important themes!
4. The Girl and the Dinosaur by Hollie Hughes (pre-K–1)
Digging up a dinosaur skeleton is an amazing possibility to imagine. Having that skeleton come to life and become your pet dinosaur? Magical. This is one of our favorite new dinosaur books for kids, for sure.
5. How to Catch a Dinosaur by Adam Wallace (pre-K-1)
This installment of a popular series mixes imaginative fiction with some facts. A light and fun read aloud.
6. Brontorina by James Howe (pre-K–2)
Brontorina Apatosaurus is desperate to dance. But, her size—and others’ doubts—make it seem impossible. Perseverance and others’ kindness help her wish come true.
7. Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman (pre-K–2)
Tiny T. Rex just wants to find a way to give his sad friend a hug, despite his short arms. This story of persistence, acceptance, and friendship could spark many important classroom discussions.
8. There’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor by Wade Bradford (pre-K-2)
This funny tale follows Mr. Snore on his floor-by-floor search for a quiet room at the Sharemore Hotel. We don’t meet the dino from the title until the end, but she exemplifies everything the hotel’s name suggests.
9. What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: A Very Messy Adventure by Refe and Susan Tuma (pre-K–2)
What kind of mischief would toy dinosaurs get into if they came alive at night? The photos in this book show the havoc they could cause. Maybe you’ll even bring the authors’ Dinovember, a month-long tribute to childhood wonder, to your classroom.
10. Dino Sports series by Lisa Wheeler (pre-K–2)
Carnivores and herbivores compete in a wide variety of sports. Kids love these rhyming titles. Brush up on your dinosaur names and your sports terminology before reading aloud!
11. Dino Holidays series by Lisa Wheeler (pre-K–2)
If you love the Dino Sports books, you’ll love sharing some of the holiday-themed titles too.
12. Crunch, the Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap (pre-K–2)
Crunch wants a new friend, but he’s not the easiest brontosaurus to get to know. Start a class discussion about meeting new friends where they are.
13. Dinosaurs Can’t Roar! by Layla Beason (pre-K-3)
When a T. Rex meets a modern-day paleontologist, he’s surprised to hear the latest science on dinos. We love this title for talking to kids about myths vs. new scientific learning.
14. Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko (pre-K-3)
Nicholas’s favorite dinosaur is a lot more than a toy. It helps him be fearless and strong, just like he imagines the real dinosaurs were. When it gets lost, his dad knows just what he needs. This is a heartwarming story about what it means to be brave.
15. The Dinosaur Expert by Margaret McNamara (K–3)
Superstar teacher Mr. Tiffin is back! (Should we set him up with Ms. Frizzle?) This time he’s taking his class to the natural history museum. Budding paleontologist Kimmy feels dismayed by the male-dominated examples at the museum. When Mr. Tiffin points out a profile of Dr. Brandoni de Gasparini, her outlook changes. Back matter includes information about notable female paleontologists.
16. Mad Scientist Academy: The Dinosaur Disaster by Matthew McElligott (2–4)
Dr. Cosmic is not the average teacher! Students must make their way through a realistic dinosaur exhibit to find the class pet, Oscar the “dinosaur.”
17. Dinosaur Empire (The Earth Before Us #1): Journey Through the Mesozoic Era by Abby Howard (3–5)
This exciting graphic novel series opener stars Ronnie, a reluctant science student. She goes on an enlightening journey back in time with her retired paleontologist neighbor, Ms. Lernin.
18. Dinosaur Boy by Cory Putman Oakes (3-6)
Yikes! Fifth grader Sawyer Bronson grows stegosaurus spikes and a tail over summer break. With themes of bullying, integrity, and identity (plus dinosaur facts), this novel is for kids who like a fast-moving, twisting plot. Also check out the companion title, Dinosaur Boy Saves Mars.
Nonfiction Dinosaur Books for Kids to “Dig” Right Into
19. Dinosaur A to Z by Roger Priddy (pre-K–1)
Besides 26+ pages of fascinating dinosaur info, this is a fantastic mentor text for writing informational alphabet books. It introduces one dinosaur for each letter of the alphabet. It also has informational text features like labels, size comparisons, pronunciation guides, and bolded text sprinkled throughout.
20. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs by Catherine D. Hughes (pre-K–2)
In this title, dinosaurs are organized by size, prompting plenty of great conversations about comparisons. This is the perfect series for introducing informational text features, too.
21. Dinosaur Feathers by Dennis Nolan (pre-K-3)
This rhyming book has a big idea: Dinosaurs and birds are related! It’s perfect for working with kids on generating questions and determining the author’s message in informational text. (Plus, you’ll get a phonics workout pronouncing all those species names!)
22. Fly Guy Presents: Dinosaurs by Tedd Arnold (K–3)
The popular early reader character duo will draw kids in, and this spinoff series packs plenty of memorable information. We like how it dispels some common myths about dinosaurs.
23. Prehistoric Actual Size by Steve Jenkins (K–4)
We adore this title and its non-paleontological companion, Actual Size. The true-to-life illustrations of dinosaur parts—and one entire dinosaur—make a memorable impression. It’s also good for helping kids understand that dinosaurs weren’t the only prehistoric creatures.
24. Dinosaurs (National Geographic Kids Reader) by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld (K–2)
Standard nonfiction features mixed plus jokes and other extras. A conversational tone walks new readers through key questions.
25. In the Past by David Elliott (1–5)
Take a trip back through the ages with these witty creature poems. There are familiar players, like T. rex, and plenty of lesser-known species, too. The illustrations are breathtaking.
26. Science Comics: Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers by MK Reed (3–6)
This graphic nonfiction book covers the history of paleontology like it’s never been presented before. Riveting!
27. Dinosaurs: A Visual Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition by DK (3 and up)
This is not your dusty Encyclopedia Britannica. Learn about prehistoric life from dinosaurs and birds to early mammals, invertebrates, and vertebrates.
28. The Age of Dinosaurs: The Rise and Fall of the World’s Most Remarkable Animals by Steve Brusatte (3 and up)
For serious dino buffs who want the real scoop on the latest discoveries. This is an up-to-date resource from an expert in the field.
Can’t wait to share these dinosaur books for kids? Also check out our favorite dog books and books about space.
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