When I was in the classroom, all at once, all of the boys in the room started to love dinosaurs. It was like a whirlwind of dinosaurs. I couldn't have had enough dinosaur books to go around. And so, I started searching for different dinosaur books - fiction and non-fiction that would satisfy their thirst. The kids were so enthusiastic about dinosaurs (and this enthusiasm spread to every kid in the class), it encouraged the whole class into an entire non-fiction reading unit.
Some of our favorites that you can share with a dino-lover:
Hands down the most popular book. We had multiple copies of this book in the classroom and all of them were in use.
The pictures are great. The headings are great and the information is top-notch. I frequently used this book to teach how to read non-fiction and how to pick out important information.
The pages are structured similarly so once a kid understands where to look, they can unlock all of the dinosaurs' secrets.
This book is very well done and in conjunction with the Smithsonian.
This book is well-suited to the dinosaur enthusiast who understands how to read non-fiction well on their own.
It is incredibly detailed, includes charts and other features of non-fiction reading. Paleontologists are included in this book for insight into digging up the bones.
While this is not a non-fiction book, it does spur the imagination. Always a favorite - it never sat on the shelf for too long. Kids like to imagine this scenario all the time (adults too!).
Speaking of which, what would happen if dinosaurs came back?
Other Dino Books of Note:
- National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs - This book is fantastic for the kid just starting out with dinosaurs. There are activity pages at the end of the book to continue the fun.
- The Complete Book of Dinosaurs - Perfect for the older kid who is just starting out with dinosaurs. This book has lots of creatures and lots of pictures.
- Dinosaur Bones - A fun, collage-filled book for younger readers about dinosaurs. There are two levels of text - larger, header like sentences that fill in little readers and smaller, more specific information for the more interested reader.
- My visit to the Dinosaurs - An old book that is a perennial favorite. This book hits on going to see the actual dinosaur bones at your museum. It explains how dinosaurs were discovered, displayed and basics about the dinos.
No dinosaur guide would be complete without some dinosaur models. Kids love to play with models. Some kids want something in their hands when they read, and these would be ideal for that!
Other great non-fiction animal books:
And because this dinosaur obsession spurred a general look into non-fiction, we found some really excellent animal encyclopedias with beautiful pictures (which I highly recommend, even to keep instead of gift!).
This book has some really great illustrations. It also highlights some of the odd behaviors you didn't even know animals engage in and WHY they do.
The sketches are from photographs of the real animals but then drawn to be appealing to kids.
Since the information is presented in a fun way about the animals, it's a low-risk way to introduce non-fiction reading.
You can't go wrong with a Smithsonian photographic guide. In fact, this book was the most popular book to have during lunch time. It has such beautiful and wondrous photography, kids were vying for this book.
A great starter for any kid who is mesmerized by animals.