14 Books, TV Shows, and Podcasts for Dinosaur Lovers
These 14 dinosaur resources celebrate the unique traits of these creatures and share ever-changing discoveries and theories about them and their prehistoric habitats.
Humans still use the word dinosaur to mean archaic, when the opposite is true – dinosaurs were an extremely diverse and successful life form.
The best dinosaur resources today celebrate the unique traits of these creatures and share ever-changing discoveries and theories about them and their prehistoric habitats. Recent dinosaur discoveries are enhanced by new technologies, such as drones and MRI, as well as communication between scientific fields, for example, paleontologists and oncologists discuss cancer in dinosaurs.
And not all new discoveries involve digging up bones. Dinosaurs left footprints and prints of their skin and feathers. Paleontologists are reassessing ancient fossils that are often stored in museums and forgotten. Human oral tradition is reexamined for its record of prehistoric life, and credibility is given to the findings of women and Indigenous peoples in their efforts to reverse the racism and sexism of the past.
Consider adding new titles regularly, especially books that cite recent findings rather than repeat old ones. Look for variety in how books share information; for example, some group creatures by time period, others sort them alphabetically. These top-notch dino titles are a great place to start.
ARLON, Penny. My First Dinosaur Atlas: Roar around the world with the most powerful beasts of all time! illus. by Paul Davis. Earth Conscious Editions. Apr. 2022. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781681887999.
PreS-Gr 4 –This compendium stands out by grouping dinosaurs, prehistoric creatures and plants by era as well as by continent, land and sea. It is ideal for young readers and very interesting navigation for quick facts, but less effective for research , as only very brief information is given about the individual dinosaurs and the brightly colored illustrations are somewhat stylized. Includes an explanation of the fossils and an index.
ARONSON, Marc & Adrienne Maire. The griffin and the dinosaur: how Adrienne Mayor discovered a fascinating link between myth and science. National Geographic. 2014. TR$18.99. ISBN 9781426311086.
5-8 grams –As a young student, the mayor wondered: Is the mythical griffin based on ancient interpretations of dinosaur bones? This biography shares his fascinating efforts to prove his theory correct and also reveals other connections between science and human myth. The Mayor’s adult book, The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times, has more information.
BLACKFORD, Cheryl. Fossil Hunter: How Mary Anning Changed the Science of Prehistoric Life. Bugle. January 2022. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780358396055.
5-8 grams –At age 13, Mary Anning collected fossils that became seminal international discoveries. In the early 1800s, when geology was in its infancy, women were excluded from science; but now Anning’s work is getting the attention it deserves. This gripping biography shares the excitement of Anning’s fossil discoveries and the complexity of the changing worldviews that surround them.
BRUSATTE, Steve. The Age of Dinosaurs: The Rise and Fall of the World’s Most Remarkable Animals. HarperCollins/Quill Tree. 2021. TR $16.99. ISBN 9780062930170.
3-7 gr. –Paleontologist Brusatte walks readers through the profiles and evolution of the dinosaurs, super salamanders and crocodiles that preceded them, and the birds and mammals that survived them. Through his fieldwork, Brusatte shares cutting-edge research and insights into the discovery and history of dinosaurs on many continents. The black-and-white images are instructive, but it’s Brusatte’s enthusiastic account that will captivate readers eager to hunt for the fossils themselves.
CHINSAMY-TURAN, Anusuya. Dinosaurs and other prehistoric life forms. illus. by Angela Rizza and Daniel Long. DK. 2021. TR $19.99. ISBN 9780744039436.
4-7 Gr –This book is packed with fascinating facts and life forms, from the Cambrian Hallucigenia to the Quaternary Glyptodon. Fossil photos shine, but illustrations often lack detail. The lack of an alphabetical index and random cross-references make navigation the best approach. For example, the “tree of life,” a diagram showing how life forms evolve from one another, and the glossary include trilobites, but nothing connects readers to the entry for Erbenochile, a type of trilobite.
JENKINS, Steve. Dinosaurs: in figures. illus. by Steve Jenkins. Bugle. 2019. TR $14.99. ISBN 9781328850959.
1-4 gr. –Infographics help kids visualize stats and compare things like length, skull size, and height of dinosaurs versus humans. Although lacking in realistic detail, the collage illustrations are informative in this format. This book includes general information about some species of dinosaurs; an explanation of their extinction; and an index, glossary, pronunciation guide, and bibliography for kids doing general research.
JENKINS, Steve. Dinosaurs roar. artwork by Steve Jenkins. Bugle. 2020. Board $8.99. ISBN 9780358040552.
Baby-Meadows – A not-too-scary introduction for toddlers learning about dinosaurs. Each page shares a dinosaur action, such as running, hatching, or roaring. Opening the folded page reveals brief information about when the dino lived and what it did: for example, a T. rex was a huge, terrifying hunter from 66 million years ago . The collage art shows the creatures in environments that support their actions.
LOMAX, Dean R. My book on dinosaurs and prehistoric life: animals and plants to amaze, amaze and amaze! DK. 2021. TR $12.99. ISBN 9780744026535.
2nd-6th grade –An engaging insight into prehistoric life, including plants, early life forms, dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals. The focus is on life forms that intrigue and fascinate. Clear illustrations, facts on every page, and an index add to the usefulness of this book for easy research, and explanations of fossils, evolution, and extinction also make it an excellent basic resource.
MAYOR, Adrienne. Fossil legends of the first Americans. Princeton University. 2007. pap. $37.50. ISBN 9780691130491.
Adult/High School – The Mayor examines North America’s Indigenous history, science and legends, finding evidence that links the human experience to prehistoric mammals, fossils and dinosaur bones. From the Paiutes who recognized trilobites as “little water bugs in stone” to the credit of forgotten Native guides, the paleontological record is more inclusive, sharing the connections and conflicts that exist in dinosaur science and North American Native culture. American.
NOLAN, Dennis. Dinosaur feathers. illus. by Dennis Nolan. Vacation Home/Neal Porter. 2019. TR $18.99. ISBN 9780823443307.
1-4 gr. –Pronunciation guides provide readers with the skills to engage with dinosaur name rhyming text that celebrates the evolutionary connection of dinosaurs to birds. Illustrations scroll colorful dinos to their asteroid demise and evolution into an array of diverse Earth birds. Notes and a “tree of life” contribute to the dates of the creatures’ lifespans and their relationships to one another.
OWEN, Ruth. My first great dinosaur fact book. Ruby Tuesday. January 2022. Tr $31.99. ISBN 9781788562461.
K-Gr 3 – Using a question-and-answer format, this engaging story guides readers through the basics of paleontology. The question “What sounds did the dinosaurs make?” is answered with brief facts and helpful illustrations of the dino’s fossilized crest and a pipe organ capable of similar sounds. Better for reading than for research, the information is not very well cross-checked. Includes a table of contents, a brief glossary, and a dinosaur quiz.
RAINEY, Merrill. Roar! I am a dinosaur. illustration by Merrill Rainey. Harper Festival. June 2022. Board $8.99. ISBN 9780063092075.
Baby-Meadows -Even babies can participate in the dinosaur theatrics, looking through the dinosaur eyes this fun board book provides on every page. Simple rhymes connect dinosaur names with dinosaur actions: for a stegosaurus stomps, a T. rex cracks, a pterodactyl soars. The colorful art is bold yet friendly.
Cathy Camper is a librarian and author of Lowriders to the Rescue and Arabic Arabic all year round!