Dinosaur Chapter Books
Below are some children's chapter books, all featuring dinosaurs in some way. They are listed in order of approximate reading abilities, from early readers, to older readers. I hope you find some new books to spark your children's interest, there are plenty to choose from.
Dinosaur School by Dick King Smith
A delightful young puffin book for developing readers. It's a short book of only 26 pages, and not technically a chapter book, as there are no chapters, but it could have easily been divided into a few. An ideal first beginner reading book containing dinosaurs, with large text, lovely colourful pictures throughout, and written by the fantastic Dick King Smith. So even though it's not a chapter book, I had to include it! This book is about a young brontosaurus called Basil, who is getting teased at playschool, and how it gets sorted out.
The Dinosaur's Packed Lunch by Jacqueline Wilson
This is a great book for early readers, with fabulous illustrations throughout by Nick Sharratt. It's a corgi pup book, ideal for new readers, and it's not over whelming as there aren't many words per page and short chapters. It's about a girl called Dinah, who goes on a school trip to the museum, everyone in her class has a packed lunch except Dinah. Then a friendly Iguanodon decides to help, and then interesting things start to happen. This book is written by Jacqueline Wilson but this one is aimed at younger children so doesn't contain the more in depth themes that her books normally contain. Apart from the girl in the book not having a mum, which I guess may raise a few questions as to why, but we didn't find this a problem, this book was very popular here, being read several times.
The Dinosaur's Diary by Julia Donaldson
A chapter book from this great author more normally known for her picture books. This book had mixed reviews in this house. We enjoyed it, and it's worth a read, but we didn't find it as great as some of Julia Donaldson's picture books. So we were a little disappointed as we were expecting a bit more form this great author, but we did still enjoy this book, and it's worth a read, particularly if you are looking for an early chapter book containing dinosaurs. It's a young puffin book, suitable for both boys and girls.
Valley of the Dinosaurs - Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
Valley of the dinosaurs is the first in this great series of fiction books, full of adventure, in different settings, mixed in with facts along the way. It's a good first reader, not too long, and with illustrations.
Dinosaur Cove by Rex Stone
There are currently 19 books, 17 in the series and 2 double length adventure books, one of which is set around Christmas time, so ideal as a Christmas present for any young dinosaur fans. They are fiction books about two boys who have various adventures in a world of dinosaurs, with dinosaur facts thrown in for a bit of educational value too. They are full of good black and white illustrations, and are quite short books, in terms of chapter books, around 80 pages, and not too much text per page, all of which help make it feel achievable to young readers. The only reason these are slightly harder is due to the specialist dinosaur words, such as stegosaur, ammonite, kentrosaurus etc. spread through the text, although if you have a real dinosaur fan don’t let that put you off trying them sooner rather than later.
The dinosaur cove double length adventure books are:
Lost in The Jurassic Journey to the Ice Age - this is set around Christmas, so a perfect present for a dinosaur fan
Dinosaur Trouble by Dick King Smith
Another great dinosaur book by Dick King Smith, this one is a chapter book though. It has about 140 pages, divided into fourteen chapters, still with larger text, large spacing, and black and white illustrations, scattered though the book, every couple of pages. So this book is suited to those who have become confident in reading, obviously this depends on the child's reading ability, but approximately suited best to 6, 7 and 8 year olds, to read independently, and suitable for a bit younger than this too for shared reading, or to be read to. It's about a T Rex that's scaring all the other dinosaur families. A couple of the dinosaurs, including Nosy the pterodactyl, come up with a plan to stop T Rex. The story also has a moral, explaining that everyone is different, but that doesn't really matter, you can still find a way to get along.
Dinosaur Pox by Jeremy Strong
Written by the popular author Jeremy Strong, known for his humorous children's books. This is a funny dinosaur book. A 120 page book divided into 9 chapters, with reasonable sized text and double line spacing, making it easy to read. Also still appealing to newly independent readers as it has illustrations every couple of pages by Nick Sharratt. Although I still love reading Jeremy Strong books aloud to the children as I find them funny myself, great books for sharing. This book is a about a girl called Jodie who goes to bed one night, and wakes up the next morning as a dinosaur, and then all the events that unfold.
The Escape of the Deadly Dinosaur - Secret Agent Jack Stalwart by Elizabeth Singer Hunt
There are a whole series of books about Secret Agent Jack Stalwart, he is a nine year old boy having lots of adventures who travels the world searching for his missing brother. One of the books in the series is focused on a dinosaur, based in New York City. These books are aimed at children aged 7 plus, and are suitable for reluctant or struggling readers. The font is fairly big in this book, and there are pictures throughout, although there are some pages of just text too. The vocabulary and the storyline makes it more appropriate for the 7 plus age group.
Astrosaurs by Steve Cole
A great series of children's early sci-fi books, combining dinosaurs and space. What more could a child want !? The books centre around a main dinosaur character, Teggs, he is captain of an amazing spaceship, he is an astrosaur and these books are about his missions and adventures with his dinosaur crew. These books have cards to collect in them too, which seem to appeal to children. These books are written in an order but they can be read out of order, and are ok as stand alone stories. There are currently 18 Astrosaurs, Be careful if you have already read some Astrosaurs and don’t want repeats because one of them called Megabookasaurus is three books in one, it contains Hatching Horror, The Mind-Swap Menace and Teeth of the T Rex. If you’ve not read any of those three before though Megabookasaurus would be a great one to buy. Also there is The Claws of Christmas which would make a great Christmas present for any Astrosaurs fans.
Z-rex by Steve Cole
This is a great thriller about a thirteen year old boy, and a dinosaur, it contains lots of action, and suspense. This is aimed at older readers, it has an advisory of 11+ mainly because of the content, and the fact that it is purely text. Although I think it could be read from a bit younger, ideal from about 9-13, especially if they are a good reader, including their comprehension. It fits perfectly in the gap between shorter chapter books and teenage fiction. Written by the fantastic Steve Cole who also writes Astrosaurs (see above), which also feature dinosaurs but aimed at the slightly younger reader. There is also a second title too, Z Raptor, which some say is even better than the first and there is a third eagerly awaited title coming out in August 2011.