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  • Writer's pictureSusy Bryceland

Top 20 Dinosaur books

Here is a list of our favourite dinosaur books at the moment, from our own bookshelf. Our top 20 is made up from our TOP 10 favourite picture books, TOP 5 non-fiction books and I've also included the TOP 5 dinosaur books on my current wish-list (aka in my Amazon shopping basket).

I haven't included my own books - 'The Dinos on the Bus' and 'Old MacDonald's Dinosaur Park' but they are favourites in our house. The kids love singing along and even making up the actions...and of course, roaring!

The Best Picture Books for Kids

1. We Love Dinosaurs

This is a gorgeous book. It's short and sweet and the illustrations are so beautiful. You'll find a happy, friendly, loveable set of dinosaurs and I also love that it includes some lesser-known dinosaurs, making a nice change from most of the usual ones we encounter in picture books. Perfect for a quick story time if you want something that will only take a few minutes.

2. Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs at the Museum

We love the whole series of these books but this is my son's favourite. Harry and his dinosaurs visit a museum to learn about their ancestors and come face to face with dinosaur skeletons...what aspiring palaeontologist wouldn't love this book? If you enjoy these books, you can by the whole set of 10 stories.

3. Dinosaur Roar

The illustrations in this books are amazing. It's probably one of my favourite picture books for illustrations. The dinosaurs are pretty cute but they also manage to look very realistic. This is a short and simple book, and kids will love flicking through the pages on their own. If you like this book, Amazon also has a variety of related items including this jigsaw, a sound books and sticker book.

4. Tyrannosaurus Wrecks

We bought this board book when the illustrator, Zachariah OHora, came to visit my son's school. It's a really fun story of a clumsy T-Rex, who causes unintentional havoc in the classroom. Although the premise is simple, I think this is one of the more unique dinosaur picture books we own, so it's a great addition to our collection. Also, if you happen to have a subscription to Kindle Unlimited, this book is currently free in Kindle Edition!

5.Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs

Obviously this is a winner if your kids also like pirates. Young Captain Flinn and his school friends find themselves up against the fiendish pirate dinosaurs on a treasure-hunting adventure. It's an entertaining story with quirky illustrations and a popular theme, so it ticks a lot of boxes. Although my kids are younger and love this story, I think lower elementary-aged children would really enjoy this book too.

6. Say Hello to the Dinosaurs

Baby T-Rex introduces us to his noisy friends. It's super cute and is great fun for the kids to join in with making dinosaur sounds. At the end of the book, we revisit all the dinosaurs we met in a quiz-type format (suitable for little ones).

This book is part of a collection of six (at least) books including Say Hello to the Snowy Animals and Say Goodnight to the Sleep Animals, which we also adore as they are perfect bedtime stories.

7. How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?

This is the only book from the 'How Do Dinosaurs...' series that we own, but we've read others from the library and enjoy them all. These books make my kids giggle as the dinosaurs are personified...and not feeling very well. Each page has the dinosaur name hidden within the illustration, so searching for the name adds an extra, fun element for enjoying this story.

8. Tyrannosaurus Drip

I can read this story with my eyes closed. Literally.

We read it every single night for about a year when my son was 2-years-old and it's still a firm favourite now that he's six.

This might not catch your eye as a traditional Julia Donaldson book due to the fact that it's not illustrated by Axel Scheffler. But it is a classic, rhyming story from the best-selling author. The illustrations may be different but they are great.

9. Dinosaurs Love Underpants

This is another brilliantly entertaining book from Claire Freedman, author of Aliens Love Underpants. The story of why dinosaurs became extinct is a super fun read, and provides lots of laughs. The rhyming text is quite simple for young readers so it may be one to read independently, depending on their age and stage of course. Great fun for story time.

10. Gigantosaurus

I love everything about this book. The illustrations, the rhyming text, the mischievous dinosaur characters and of course the story with a similar theme to the boy who cried wolf...but on this occasion: the dinosaur who cried 'Gigantosaurus'! This is one of those books that even adults love to read. It also has a lovely fact page at the end.

The Best Non-fiction Books for Kids

We've got quite an impressive collection of non-fiction dinosaur books and whenever we acquire a new one, I always wonder if there can possibly be anything new or unique to read about...but I'm always pleasantly surprised and learn something!

So here is our TOP 5...

1. Knowledge Encyclopedia Dinosaur!

This is my son's absolute favourite book. He sits on his own flicking through it all the time and has learned so much about dinosaurs we've never even heard of! If you have a dinosaur super-fan this is the ultimate resource to learn everything about these fascinating animals. It's a pretty big and heavy hardback which includes double-page spreads of over 60 creatures from dinosaurs to prehistoric animals from the ice age.

2. DK Pocket Eyewitness: Dinosaurs

Learn about more than 150 prehistoric creatures in this mini encyclopedia. This pocket-sized book is small enough to carry anywhere; perfect for car journeys, plane rides or waiting in a restaurant. It's jam-packed with information on a huge range of dinosaurs. It's heavy to read for a little one and has small print but a great book to flick through on their own or for parents to read aloud.

3. Fly Guy Presents: Dinosaurs

If your kids enjoy the Fly Guy series, this is a great fact book for your collection.


There are lots of facts to learn and photographs to enjoy as Fly Guy visits a natural history museum.

This is a Scholastic levelled reader (level 2) so it's perfect for kids who are new to reading.

My six year old loves that he can read this book on his own and is always entertained by Fly Guy.

4. Everything Dinosaurs

A trusty National Geographic product, this book is full of facts, photos, infographics and more. It also includes a detailed glossary for independent readers. We've had this book for a few years now and my son still picks it up to read, which shows how full of info it is.

5. See Inside the World of Dinosaurs

I love Usborne books. This is a cool, lift-the-flap, hardback book for dinosaur enthusiasts. There are more than 50 flaps to uncover additional facts and information about how dinosaurs lived and how they became extinct. The flaps have withstood the test of two sets of eager far.

Wish List

If you're on the lookout for even more dinosaur are some I've got my eye on for my next Amazon order.

1. National Geographic Little Kids: First Big Book of Dinosaurs

I love National Geographic books, I always find they're so full of quality information at an appropriate level for kids to understand. This one looks like yet another gem, with a variety of forms of information from diagrams to photos to keep eager minds busy.

2. Spot the Dinosaur on the Island

A search and find book for fans of Where's Wally/Waldo. This looks like hours of entertainment for a rainy day stuck at home or to take on a long journey. Find baby T-Rex on each page, count the dinosaurs and many more activities will likely keep kids engrossed. There are loads of books in this ''Spot the..." collection from Stella Maidment, but we'll definitely be starting with this one.

3. Flip Flap Dinosaurs

This book looks like so much fun! Both my kids would love this I'm sure.

Dinosaur features can be mixed to form countless combinations of funny creatures, as well as brand new noises and names for these newly created dinosaurs.

Although this a board book, kids of all ages would love this I'm sure.

4. Bumpus Jumpus Dinosaurumpus

It's a dinosaur dance-party! We've read this book previously when my son took it home from the library, and it was one we enjoyed so much we were disappointed when we had to return it. So now it's here on my wish list. It's a wonderfully silly book with a repetitive thread and a fun, catchy rhythm. Towards the end of the story, my son was joining in with the rhyme...then asked to read it again.

5. Mad About Dinosaurs

I haven't read this book yet but we're big fans of Giles Andreae's wonderful picture books, such as Giraffes Can't Dance (one of my favourite story books) and Rumble in the Jungle, so we really need to add this one to the collection. Also I'm certain that the colourful and appealing illustrations would make this a popular story time choice in our household.

Thanks for checking out our list of top dinosaur books. If you have any recommendations for amazing dinosaur-themed books - either fiction, non-fiction or even activity books, please get in touch (via the contact tab) and I can share them.

Happy reading!

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