Who knew that evolution could be so funny?
Starting with the title page:
Oh, what a wise, wise chicken!
Then comes a most serious author’s note about how this book is based on scientific research, with a facing page that clues the reader in to the part that may be fictional—dinosaurs speaking English:
Sheneman sets the stage with dinosaurs roaming the earth, comparing their differences through funny speech bubbles and glib (but factual) author notes, before the dinos see an asteroid hurtling toward them in the sky. The speech bubble reads “That can’t be good.” Definitely an understatement. The next spread features a view from space as the asteroid hits.
What happens then? Enquiring minds want to know. Suffice to say, there’s a spread with a bird running through flames, screeching “Somebody call 911!” And then a spread with…wait! I don’t want to spoil the jokes.
Back matter shows a timeline of the mesozoic and cenozoic periods, complete with more funny illustrations, jokes, and facts. Kids will come for the dinosaurs, and stay for the humor, while learning and laughing throughout the process.
Sure to be a hit at home and in the classroom, this book will make a great elementary school STEM read aloud.
For older kids, pair this book with Melissa Stewart’s Fourteen Monkeys: A Rainforest Rhyme. How do the two books present information? How are they different in structure, tone, and illustration style?
Make some dinosaur egg Rice Krispy treats.
Title: Dinosaurs Are Not Extinct: Real Facts About Real Dinosaurs
Author/Illustrator: Drew Sheneman
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2020
Ages: Elementary School+
Themes: dinosaurs, natural history, STEM, extinction
For more perfect picture book recommendations, please visit Susanna Hill’s website.