Kids go through phases. One week, your little one will only play with PAW Patrol paraphernalia; the next, they insist on sleeping with their bath toys. The good news is that when your kid's Eye of Sauron turns its gaze to dinosaurs (which it will at some point), you have a world of really great stories to complement all those velociraptor figurines. These picture books about dinosaurs — including a brilliant new title by Jonathan Stutzman that will be "stomping into hearts" on March 5 — will sustain your kiddo when their love of all things prehistoric hits.
According to The Cut, a third of all kids have an "intense interest" with dinosaurs at some point in their childhood, typically between the ages of 2 to 6. The appeal is obvious; dinosaurs are big, powerful creatures whose impossible bodies mirror toddlers' big emotions so well. And because they're extinct, kids get to imagine all the things they could have gotten up to, feeding into their natural love of make-believe. Jonathan Stutzman is fueling the dino-fandom with his upcoming release Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug (Chronicle Books), about a baby tyrannosaurus rex who's on a mission to spread the love despite his small arms.
Even better, Romper has an exclusive sneak preview of the pint-sized dino-hero right here. Meet Tiny T. Rex!
His arms were too teeny to encircle a tree, nevertheless, he persisted:
Even better news: the story is the beginning of a series, so your little one will have even more dinosaur-themed books lining their shelves soon. In the meantime, you can pre-order Tiny R. Rex and the Impossible Hug to arrive the day it comes out.
Here is another leedle look at our hero:
So many feels packed into such a tiny frame!
You can read more about Tiny T-Rex below, and also get the goss on some other dino-mite (sorry, I had to) picture books.
'Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug' by Jonathan Stutzman, illustrated by Jay Fleck
In this first installment of the Tiny T. Rex series, readers meet Tiny, a baby dinosaur who won't let something as silly as little arms and a big head stop him from being a good friend — or anything else.
Join Tiny on his journey to figure out how to give his best buddy Pointy the perfect cheer-you-up hug in Tiny T. Rex And The Impossible Hug (Chronicle Books), and get to know the children's book star you've been waiting eons for. (Out on March 5, 2019, available for pre-order now.)
'We Don't Eat Our Classmates' by Ryan T. Higgins
Little Penelope Rex may have bitten off more than she can chew by going to a human school, and she soon finds herself tempted to snack on some of her new classmates. But she's met with unsavory surprise when she discovers she isn't the only one with a big appetite in her class. We Don't Eat Our Classmates's (Disney-Hyperion) silly tone will keep your kiddos entertained for hours.
'Dinosaur Dance' by Sandra Bolton
If your little reader has happy feet, they'll love Sandra Boynton's Dinosaur Dance (Little Simon), an interactive board book that encourages kids to shake their tail-feathers while they read.
'Don't Forget Dexter!' by Lindsay Ward
Dexter, a socially anxious dino, is in a bit of a pickle after he loses track of his best friend, Jack, during a trip to the doctor's office, and he'll do anything to get him back. The T. Rex's hilarious attempts to locate his buddy in Don't Forget Dexter! (Two Lions) will have kids roaring with laughter and clamoring to read the next installments of Ward's series.
'Dinosaur Kisses' by David Ezra Stein
Beloved children's book writer David Ezra Stein's approach to the Paleolithic world is equal parts funny and sweet in Dinosaur Kisses (Candlewick Press), a story about a hatchling Dinah's adorable attempts to figure out how to give a kiss. Expect giggles and cheers from your little one as Dinah experiments with the perfect pucker.
'Clark Is Scared Of The Dark' by Beatriz Rare
Those who fear creepy crawlies in the night will totally relate to Clark, a reptile who just can't shake his bedtime anxiety — until he gets some help from his mom and a new friend. Beatriz Rare's Clark Is Scared Of The Dark will help your troubled sleeper overcome their fear of things that go bump in the night while they have a blast reading about Clark's adventures.
'If A T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party' by Jill Esbaum, illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova
Your tot might have had someone in a dino costume come to their birthday party, but what would it be like to have an actual dinosaur celebrate your big day with you? Jill Esbaum's If A T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party (Sterling Children's Books) explores this hilarious hypothetical with wit and charm that will have your little one begging for a reptilian visitor at their next soiree.
'How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You' by Mo Willems
Extinction is a state of mind in Mo Willems's Edwina: The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct (Disney-Hyperion), which tells the story of a dinosaur who has no idea she's not supposed to exist anymore. Chaos ensues when Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie tries to prove that Edwina is extinct — but what will happen if he succeeds?
'Mamasaurus' by Stephan Lomp
Stephen Lomp's sweet tale of a baby dinosaur trying to find his mother has echoes of P.D. Eastman's Are You My Mother (Random House Books For Young Readers), taking readers on Babysaurus's journey through the Paleolithic world to find his mom. Young readers will love the adventures that fill the pages of Mamasaurus's (Chronicle Books) pages, and the reassuring message about parental love will remind them you're never far away.
'What Kind Of Car Does A T. Rex Drive?' by Mark Lee, illustrated by Brian Biggs
This slyly educational book will teach your kiddo some fun dino facts using the framework of an out-of-touch car salesman, Uncle Otto, who gets some surprise buyers in the form of dinosaurs. Lucky for Uncle Otto, Ava and Mickey know a thing or two about the prehistoric era, and they manage to find the perfect car for all of the reptilian buyers...until a T. Rex comes along. Mark Lee's What Kind Of Car Does A T. Rex Drive? is as fun as it is informative, and you can engage your little one as you read by having them guess which kind of car would be best for each dino.