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How Do Dinosaurs...?

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

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In a few simple lines of verse on each spread, fathers and mothers are ready to put their youngsters to bed. But in this book, the youngsters are a wide variety of dinosaurs. And how do dinosaurs say good night?

Filled with wonderful detail and humor, children and their parents will love the expressions and antics of the eleven different dinosaur children depicted here, and each species is spelled out somewhere in the young dinosaur's bedroom. In the end, young dinosaurs behave a lot like people do: They give a big kiss, turn out the light, tuck in their tails, and whisper "good night."

Here is a new staple for bedtime reading, a book children will ask for again and again.

40 pages, Hardcover

First published April 1, 2000

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About the author

Mark Teague

99 books104 followers
Mark Teague has delighted young readers with more than 20 picture books, and he has written many of them himself, including the popular Pigsty, Baby Tamer, and One Halloween Night. He is also the illustrator of Cynthia Rylant's beloved Poppleton series for beginning readers and the best-selling books by Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight and How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon.

Mark Teague's life changed when he moved from San Diego to New York City and he planted the seed for his first picture book, The Trouble with the Johnsons. Each of Teague's books start as "notebooks full of sketches and scribbles, strange little drawings and phrases that suddenly come together," Teague explains. And although he had no formal writing training, his endless imagination and understanding nature gives him a permanent place in the hearts of everyone.

Mark and his wife live in Coxsackie, New York, with their young daughter Lily, who has a great time watching her dad paint the pictures in his books.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 839 reviews
Profile Image for Bionic Jean.
1,212 reviews1,002 followers
July 6, 2021
How do dinosaurs say good night? is a cute picture book to share with very young children. Written by Jane Yolen, and illustrated with great humour by Mark Teague, it was published in 2000 as one in a series of “How do dinosaurs …” books. All the books depict situations familiar to every young child: how to eat their food, play with their friends, clean their room, stay safe, learn to read, and so on. There are 23 such books so far, each describing a specific scenario.

The books convey useful information about these situations children find themselves in, showing different way of behaving, and what they might lead to. In this one, we follow the antics of eleven different dinosaur children at bedtime. Part of what amuses us, is that every single one is crammed into a tiny child’s bed, with human “parents” coming to tuck them in at night. The lively details in the pictures lead to lots of observational chat between those sharing the book, and the expression on the faces on both humans and dinosaurs is priceless.

The very short commentary – just one sentence per page or less – is all in rhyme:

“How does a dinosaur say good night?
when Papa comes in to turn off the light?
Does a dinosaur slam his tail and pout?
Does he throw his teddy bear all about?”


It has lots of repetition; perfect if a young child is just beginning to recognise initial letters and be able to predict odd words. The illustrator, Mark Teague uses various different perspectives in his full-page pictures, making the reader laugh out loud sometimes at the antics of the dinosaur child. Each is a different type of dinosaur, whether a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Triceratops, a Stegosaurus, a Pteranodon, an Allosaurus or many more favourite dinosaurs. Cleverly, the name of each appears somewhere in the picture, either as a name on the door, inscribed on end of the bed, or perhaps spelled out in coloured play bricks on the floor. As well as the variety of dinosaurs, the parents are also very diverse, representing all sorts of people from many different ethnic groups.

The delaying tactics and tantrums employed by these young dinosaurs will be very familiar to young readers! And each time, although we see what appears to be the dinosaur behaving in this way, we learn that no, that is not what they did. We chuckle along, knowing that they are being very silly and look ludicrous. We try pouting like they do, in that funny fashion. Do they really behave like that?

The answer is no, they most certainly do not! And then we find out how they DO behave, which is very cute indeed.

The dinosaur children give their prehistoric parents great big hugs and kisses, cleverly use their enormous tails to turn out the light, tuck themselves in, and whisper, “Good night”. Cue for everyone to say “Aaah”, which I duly did, and my little 4 year-old Turkish friend smiled from ear to ear and pronounced it “Good”. He had enthusiastically spotted lots of details in the illustrations too, and enjoyed following the story. Keen to read, he sometimes guessed the words, which are printed in a satisfyingly large font, perfect for this.

At the beginning of the book, the frontispiece shows each of the eleven dinosaur children playing on their bed. One is blowing bubbles, one jumping up and down on the mattress, one reading quietly and so on. Each is affectionately drawn, making us smile at their postures and clearly conveyed characters.

Jane Yolen describes how she came to write this particular book. Her editor had a baby just a year old. One day she called and said, “My little boy hates going to bed at night and loves dinosaurs. Can you write something for him?” This short little tale written in verse was the result. When the author first saw the illustrations by Mark Teague, depicting knowingly naughty dinosaur children, and their parents in various stages of frustration and despair, she knew “he’d taken my little rhyme a giant step further on”.

How do dinosaurs say good night? has won many awards. It is a lovely playful book, full of whimsy and fun but also with a great friendly message.
Profile Image for Carol.
313 reviews821 followers
December 1, 2016
One of those books that --when your child wants you to read it for the 171st night in a row, with fervor? You don't mind one bit.
Profile Image for Jen.
247 reviews146 followers
June 16, 2010
This book is tricksy. Kids love it because it has dinosaurs and adults love it because it is brainwashing in the best way. This is how it goes:

"Oh, does little one not want to go to sleep?"
"NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
"What did you just scream at me like you were possessed of the devil?"
*sigh*
"Okay, let's read a book about how all the dinosaurs you love go right to bed without any fuss. Hmmm...Pteranodon, now does he throw a fit when daddy tells him to get in bed? No! Of course not! He would never throw his teddy bear. How about Allosaurus, Corythosaurus, or Triceratops, do they bitch and moan and sulk and cry when it's nighty-night time? Hell no. Even T-Rex, the big ass meanie doesn't give mommy any trouble. Everyone knows, sweet child, that dinosaurs don't do any of that. They are so good, these dinosaurs. They give kisses and turn off their own lights, and whisper good night. Don't you want to be a big, bad dinosaur too? Yes? Wonderful."

Profile Image for Diz.
1,508 reviews84 followers
March 12, 2019
The illustrations of dinosaurs in bedroom settings are really well done. There is a playfulness to the art that my kids really enjoyed.
Profile Image for Erth.
3,373 reviews
January 18, 2022
Filled with wonderful detail and humor, children and their parents will love the expressions and antics of the eleven different dinosaur children depicted here, and each species is spelled out somewhere in the young dinosaur's bedroom. In the end, young dinosaurs behave a lot like people do: They give a big kiss, turn out the light, tuck in their tails, and whisper "good night."
Profile Image for Lisa Vegan.
2,734 reviews1,199 followers
July 2, 2010
I did not expect to like this book very much. Sometimes I love being wrong. This book had me laughing from first page to last.

Jane Yolen is not only a prolific writer; she’s incredibly eclectic. The story rhyme is terrific.

The illustrations are outstanding and they’re hilarious. The pictures show a variety of large dinosaurs in human size bedrooms, with a variety of human size human mothers and fathers, and dog size family dogs, and human child size toys and beds and teddy bears. They’re so, so funny.

Children will certainly identify with the bedtime delaying tactics and behaviors the dinosaurs (don’t!) use.

This is very cute and perfect for a bedtime story, as there aren’t too many words and the theme is how to go to bed without a fuss. However, if the adults (and children?) are laughing too much, it might be hard to settle down to pre-sleep stage. This really is very funny, illustrations and story too.

This is one of six dinosaur related books selected for the July Picture Books Club at the Children's Books group.
Profile Image for Mariel.
667 reviews1,041 followers
March 24, 2011
Dinosaurs are extinct 'cause they went to sleep and never woke up. Night owls are still around.
I read this in line at the supermarket (beats tabloids any day. Unless Elvis does decide to really come back). It's cute and funny. Love dinosaurs. (I still love Dr. Seuss more.)
This reminds me of the time when I was a kid and the grandparents gave me an ironic nightgown with a dinosaur on it who didn't wanna go to bed. I'd point to it as my reason/explanation for not going to bed. Dinosaurs don't sleep! Guess they do. Who needs 'em, anyway?
My pet gator only pretends to sleep. She will attack me and claim she had a "nightmare" that people turned her family into purses. "You ate your family! Nice try."
I sleep with one eye open.
Profile Image for Abigail.
7,083 reviews173 followers
December 13, 2018
I don't know why it's taken me so long to try this first "How Do Dinosaurs..." book from author Jane Yolen and illustrator Mark Teague, but I'm glad that our July dinosaur theme, over in the Picture-Book Club to which I belong prompted me to give it a chance, as How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight is an absolute delight! With a rhyming text that just begs to be read aloud - "How does a dinosaur say goodnight, when Papa comes in to turn off the light? Does a dinosaur slam his tail and pout? Does he throw his teddy bear all about?" - and brightly colored illustrations that capture the humor of each (possible) situation, it makes for an ideal bedtime selection. Highly recommended to all the little dinosaurs out there!
Profile Image for Luisa Knight.
2,718 reviews650 followers
June 26, 2018
Do dinosaurs mope and shout when bedtime rolls around? Nope, they're well behaved.

Ages: 3 - 6

**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website: The Book Radar.
Profile Image for Amanda.
840 reviews344 followers
May 31, 2020
I enjoyed the illustrations and that the dinosaur species were creatively labeled. I appreciated the representation of racially diverse parents.
187 reviews
November 4, 2020
Day two of Hannah's picture book challenge - a book to read before bed.

Children will laugh out loud with this book, they see a young dinosaurs behaving very badly, then coming around and doing it right. Although don’t even bother checking this out if you’re worried about your kids learning bad bedtime manners!
Profile Image for Annette.
750 reviews17 followers
May 22, 2011
I suppose it is not surprising how many children's books are illustrated in a simplistic, spare, or at best cartoonish fashion. And that's fine, of course: art doesn't have to be complicated to be good. What surprises me is how many children's books - even children's books bearing impressive looking award seals - have illustrations that might kindly be described as abstract, but would more likely described as "ugly" by the average 6-year-old. The beautiful "Carl" series (example: You're A Good Dog, Carl!) springs to mind as an exception, but these books also happen to have an absolute minimum of text: the paintings are relied upon entirely to tell the story. The "How Do Dinosaurs" series is a rare intersection of well crafted rhyming text and lavishly executed yet playful illustrations of dinosaur children preparing for bed as their (human) parents look on. I think they're adorable, fun to read, and imbued with useful morals. My 2-year-old is already getting into the act, answering "no" at the appropriate places in the text! We'll be looking to add to our collection as we find them at the used book stores.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,140 reviews
July 7, 2010
The text was fun, nothing spectacular (maybe I was expecting more by the children's book goddess that is Jane Yolen) but the rhyme is great for those bed-time read alouds. And the story is a very cute and amusing concept. I think the illustrations really brought it to life. The expressions on the dinosaur's faces are SO funny, and the parents, gosh, I bet every mom and dad has made one of those faces at bedtime, haha! I thought it was really clever how the actual name of each dinosaur was written somewhere in the illustration and I also appreciated the multi-cultural aspect of the parents. I will have to look for more in this series :-)
Profile Image for Sterlingcindysu.
1,297 reviews48 followers
March 22, 2016
dinosaur

Now anyone would think it would be easier to put a 2 year old boy down for a nap than to put a dinosaur to bed.

You'd be wrong. Dinosaurs are surprisingly well behaved at bedtime. They even tuck in their tails! And read in bed!

dino reading

A Grandson Storyhour Recommendation
Profile Image for Heather.
443 reviews25 followers
September 28, 2018
This book is awesome. Id like to get the other books in this series also. My boys love it.
Profile Image for Zoe's Human.
1,688 reviews67 followers
August 10, 2019
This is an absolutely wonderful rhyming story about bedtime. The art, the humor, and the story are all delightful. Great fun to read aloud and has a wonderful invite for roaring in the middle!

Themes: bedtime, dinosaurs, manners
Ages: 3 to 8
Profile Image for sixthreezy.
924 reviews22 followers
January 17, 2023
This was great for us to teach our 2 y/o about bedtime and how to work through being upset about it. It's also fun because it is dinosaurs. It is a quick but meaningful read so, 5 stars!
Profile Image for Caleb S.
107 reviews44 followers
April 1, 2018
This is some quality literature right here
Profile Image for Peggy.
295 reviews131 followers
March 9, 2022
I bought this for a baby gift, but of course I had to read it first.
Profile Image for Ann.
510 reviews
July 17, 2010
What I really enjoyed about this book wasn't so much the story (which is fun, though nothing indepth) but the fact that each illustration has a dinosaur labeled with its saurian name! I think this is a great way to introduce children to the various types of dinos and familiarize them with their fantastic names.
Profile Image for TRex_TeaTime.
114 reviews10 followers
August 2, 2018
Listened to the french version on audiobook, just to get a little practice in. It's so cute!
Profile Image for Kelly Santamaria.
22 reviews1 follower
October 2, 2020
This is one of many books in the “How Do Dinosaurs” series. It begins by showing each dinosaur as a child to human parents in their bedroom, doing things they should not. The first half of the book consists of the dinosaurs acting silly or throwing tantrums. The second half of the book is followed up with the correct and expected actions. The book is written in rhyme and has excellent illustrations!

“Illustration in picture books is meant to delight, to capture attention, to tell a story or teach a concept, and to develop appreciation and awareness in children.” (Children’s Literature Briefly, page 39) In my opinion, the illustrations in this book, accomplish each of these things.

The artwork throughout this book covers a lot of ground for the reader. The text on each page is very short, leading the reader to rely heavily on the illustrations. The illustrations help to reinforce the words on each page while providing a setting for the reader. This book is about dinosaurs saying goodnight, so the setting is different for each oversized dinosaur, in their (human) child size bedroom. There is so much detail within each page. Almost every page has a dog somewhere, usually hiding from the dinosaur. The reader can also find the name of the dinosaur within each illustration. It may be written out or may be carved into a bedside or spelled out in blocks. Each dinosaur is given personality beyond the text, both in the way that they act and the personal items within their rooms.

This series, “How Do Dinosaurs”, has been one of my favorites for several years. I highly recommend not only this particular book, but most in the series. Not only are the illustrations delightfully entertaining, the books can help in teaching simple lessons to your own children or students.

If you enjoy this book, (I don’t know how you couldn’t) you should try following it up with, “How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?” or maybe you’d prefer “How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?” With so many in the series, I’m sure you can find one that will soon be your favorite!
Profile Image for Ashley Eckard.
22 reviews
Read
January 14, 2020
This book can be either text-to-world or text-to-teaching connection: I'll do text-to-world connection:

This book is a great way to open the eyes of children on how to act for when they are having to go to bed. "Does a dinosaur slam his tail and pout"? No, they don't. This can show children okay it is not okay to slam stuff down or even myself and it is not okay to pout. At the end of the book, the dinosaurs give kisses, hugs, and read books for bedtime. This teaches children all over the world how bedtime should go.
Profile Image for Meredith.
211 reviews3 followers
March 16, 2018
So CUTE!! I have to do a report on a children's book and I'm so glad I got this one. The pictures are adorable and so nicely drawn. As an artist, I'm incredibly jealous of the art style. Also, it was only by the end that I realized the dinosaurs were a metaphor for kids, haha!!
Profile Image for Rebecca.
39 reviews
January 13, 2023
We found this book at the perfect time! My child loves dinosaurs & was struggling with bedtime when we first found it. Not only do the dinosaurs set a good example, but the book also showcases a lot of different dinosaurs, which is perfect for our obsessed toddler.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 839 reviews

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