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Summer Books and Activities for Kids

Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs

How to explore this theme:

  1. Choose books and book-related activities
  2. Explore more hands-on activities
  3. Try some summer writing
  4. Dig deeper with these websites
  5. Play and learn with interactive mobile apps

#1: Choose kids' books and book-related activities Great Fiction & Nonfiction Books

Age Level: 3-6 years old

Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures With the Family Lazardo

Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures With the Family Lazardo

By: William Joyce | Illustrated by: William Joyce

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Beginning Reader

While on a family excursion to Africa, the Lazardos find a dinosaur and bring him home to their small town. Dinosaur Bob becomes part of their family and the town’s best baseball player.

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Dinosaur Train

Dinosaur Train

By: John Steven Gurney

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Does Jesse travel back in time or is an imaginative jaunt when he boards a train with a Tyrannosaurus engineer? No matter; train and dino-obsessed Jesse's imaginative journey is sure to delight.

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Dinosaur!

Dinosaur!

By: Peter Sis

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Pre-Reader

When a boy's toy dinosaurs come to life, a whole new world is created in his bathtub. No words are needed as the adventure grows and then recedes when his mother brings him back to the real world. Black lines on crisp white pages effectively convey the child's fantasy and his reality. Dinosaur names appear on the endpaper to the book.

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Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs

By: Byron Barton | Illustrated by: Byron Barton

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A long time ago there were dinosaurs. Big dinosaurs and small dinosaurs. Dinosaurs with horns on their heads or spikes down their backs. Dinosaurs with long, long necks and long, long tails. Imaginatively and with a masterful use of color, shape, and composition, the author/illustrator brings to life a unique and endearing vision of what the world may have looked like once upon a time. [Amazon review]

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Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct

Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct

By: Mo Willems | Illustrated by: Mo Willems

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Everyone in town knows Edwina. She is the dinosaur who plays with the kids. She is the dinosaur who helps little old ladies cross the street. And best of all, she bakes yummy chocolate-chip cookies. Everyone loves Edwina except for Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie. Reginald knows dinosaurs are extinct and is ready to prove it. But will anyone listen? And if they do, what will happen to Edwina? [Amazon review]

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How Big Were the Dinosaurs?

How Big Were the Dinosaurs?

By: Bernard Most

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Dinosaurs are endlessly fascinating. Perhaps because it is hard to imagine giant lizards roaming the earth. In simple illustrations and straightforward text, the size of dinosaurs is related to more familiar things, so that children can picture this prehistoric time. Before embarking on a museum field trip, start kids thinking about how big dinosaurs were!

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Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp!

Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp!

By: Margaret Mayo | Illustrated by: Alex Ayliffe

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Meet massive, wrinkly, stiff-tailed, feathered and more dinosaurs as they stomp, guard, and gulp through this colorful pages of this rhythmic, attractive book. Pronunciation help for dinosaur names is provided on the end pages.

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Time Train

Time Train

By: Paul Fleischman | Illustrated by: Claire Ewart

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Join Miss Pym's students as they take a memorable train trip across the U.S. to a time and place where dinosaurs roamed. Humor and adventure combine as Miss Pym is horrified but her students delight in getting to know the huge creatures firsthand.

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When Dinosaurs Came with Everything

When Dinosaurs Came with Everything

By: Elise Broach | Illustrated by: David Small

Age Level: 3-6 years old | Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In a playful take on the stickers and lollipops that bored kids sweep up at businesses as parents do errands, the author imagines what would happen if a dinosaur were the giveaway of the day. A boy's increasing delight at the freebies he collects from the bakery, the doctor, and barber contrast with his mother's increasing panic and dismay as the lumbering beasts start to accumulate. When they acquire the fourth behemoth, Mom decides that the errands are done and whisks everyone home. Once there, she finds some unique ways to put the stegosaurus, triceratops, hadrosaur, and pterosaur to good use doing household chores. [School Library Journal review]

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Age Level: 6-9 years old

Archaeologists Dig for Clues

Archaeologists Dig for Clues

By: Kate Duke

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Archaeologists on a dig work very much like detectives at a crime scene. Every chipped rock, charred seed, or fossilized bone could be a clue to how people lived in the past. In this information-packed Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science book, Kate Duke explains what scientists are looking for, how they find it, and what their finds reveal.

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Barnum's Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World

Barnum's Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World

By: Tracey Fern | Illustrated by: Boris Kulikov

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Even as a child, Barnum Brown started collecting fossils. This boy from Carbondale, Kansas, grew up to be one of the 20th century's premier dinosaur hunters. He provided the American Museum of Natural History in NYC with its first tyrannosaurus Rex and more. Illustrations add wit to the informal telling; an author's note rounds out the presentation.

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Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs

Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs

By: Kathleen V. Kudlinski | Illustrated by: S.D. Schindler

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

This is a very kid friendly introduction to how a scientific theory is formed through the careful collection and analysis of evidence — and how new evidence can turn a theory upside down.

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Digging Up Dinosaurs

Digging Up Dinosaurs

By: A Aliki

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Where do museum dinosaur skeletons come from? In this introduction to archaeology, the author shows how teams of experts work together to dig dinosaur fossils out of the ground, bone by fragile bone.

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Dinorella: A Prehistoric Fairy Tale

Dinorella: A Prehistoric Fairy Tale

By: Pamela Duncan Edwards | Illustrated by: Henry Cole

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

In this rendition of the classic fairy tale, the Cinderella role is played by — you guessed it — a dinosaur! Her Fairydactyl comes to the rescue and dresses our heroine, a big fuchsia dinosaur, in a prom gown. And while you're reading about how Dinorella dazzles the Duke at the Dinosaur Dance, children will be learning about the sound /d/ makes.

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Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House #1)

Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House #1)

By: Mary Pope Osborne | Illustrated by: Sal Murdocca

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Share adventures with Annie and her brother Jack when they accept missions from a magical library in their backyard tree house -- and learn a bit of science, history, and more on these fantastic and exciting trips!

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Dinosaurs: The Biggest, Baddest, Strangest, Fastest

Dinosaurs: The Biggest, Baddest, Strangest, Fastest

By: Harold Zimmerman, George Olshevsky

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

The large format of this book is perfect for the theatrical, sometimes spectacular, full color illustrations of the larger-than-life dinosaurs of yesteryear. The brief but informative text adds to the drama.

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Dinotrux

Dinotrux

By: Chris Gall

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Millions of years ago, huge, hungry prehistoric 'dinotrux' ruled the world. A terrible storm caused some dinotrux to seek better weather. Those that shed their "misbehaving ways" over the millennia are still on the job today. This imaginative take on trucks and dinosaurs is sure to make readers young and old view subjects anew while making them laugh out loud.

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The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins

The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins

By: Barbara Kerley | Illustrated by: Brian Selznick

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Mr. Hawkins was a 19th century British artist with a passion for dinosaurs. This illustrated biography introduces the man, his time, and how he worked both to satisfy his own curiosity and stimulate that same curiosity in others. Additional notes from both the author and illustrator provide insight into the person and how his knowledge evolved.

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The Magic School Bus in the Time of the Dinosaurs

The Magic School Bus in the Time of the Dinosaurs

By: Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen | Illustrated by: Bruce Degen

Age Level: 6-9 years old | Reading Level: Independent Reader

Everyone's favorite science teacher is back as Ms. Frizzle takes her class on a journey into the Mesozoic Era. The Magic School Bus becomes a time machine, giving the students a first-hand look at many dinosaurs and the eras in which they lived. The text and illustrations are blended in this amazing fact and trivia-filled field trip to the past.

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More great summer resources for parents from Reading Rockets

Read Aloud Tips

Read Aloud Tips

Read aloud every day with your child and talk about what you're reading. These two simple activities help build your child's vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Get tips (In English and 10 other languages) >

Downloadables

Downloadables

Download these colorful ready-to-print lunch box notes, play date cards, and door hangers for the kids in your life.

Download and print >