How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague – Book Review

IMGHow Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends by Jane Yolen and Mark TeagueWhen I was a child I loved any book about dinosaurs. It’s still too early to tell if Arya will like dinosaurs as much as Daddy, but that didn’t stop me from reading How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.

I really like the book, but for a completely different reason than I expected.

Yolen and Teague simply use the dinosaurs as a vehicle to teach meaningful lessons to children.

I’m not fond of anthropomorphism in a lot of children’s books with talking dogs and cats. Many of these books become preachy in trying to convey the supposed moral of the story. If even children feel that the animals are simply a transparent attempt to make a point, the book loses all impact.

With How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends, the pictures of the dinosaurs are so outlandish that the story becomes more about humor rather than preaching. Dinosaurs play with dump trucks, ride on tiny tricycles, and sit on the swing. The enormous size of the dinosaurs and small, people-size contraptions give the entire story a light-hearted, enjoyable tone.

The point of the story is that even dinosaurs share, take turns, and play nicely with their friends. Having dinosaurs model good behavior is a funny way to teach children a lesson about getting along with others.

Babies too young to read will still appreciate the colorful pictures of the dinosaurs. But the book is best suited for pre-school age children who are still learning to play with other kids. Even older readers in elementary school will love the book if they have any interest in dinosaurs.

How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends is part of a larger series of dinosaur books by Jane Yolen. Each book in the series teaches a different lesson within the context of the humongous dinosaurs. I look forward to reading the whole series to Arya once she gets a little older.

How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends costs (including shipping) $6.99 new and $4.99 used from Amazon.