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Prehistoric Times: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about prehistoric times?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to prehistoric times. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about prehistoric times.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about prehistoric times, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like My Weird School Fast Facts: Dinosaurs, Dodos, and Woolly Mammoths to popular sellers like Dinosaurs Before Dark to some of our favorite hidden gems like We Don’t Eat Our Classmates.

We hope this list of kids books about prehistoric times can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Prehistoric Times

Dinosaur Surprise book
#1
Dinosaur Surprise
Written & illustrated by Agnese Baruzzi
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What could be more exciting to a toddler than animals that turn into dinosaurs? Every animal in this book looks cute and small—until you unfold the flaps to reveal a much bigger dinosaur within! Is that a jellyfish or a Pterodactyl? Is that a parrot or a Triceratops? Open the flaps to find out…

Charlotte and the Rock book
#2
Charlotte and the Rock
Written by Stephen W. Martin & illustrated by Samantha Cotterill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An unexpected friendship forms between a girl and her pet rock in this charming story that’s perfect for fans of What Pet Should I Get?

Charlotte has always really wanted a pet, so when her parents present her with one for her birthday she expects a cat, dog, or maybe a bird. Instead, she receives a rock. Rocks can’t cuddle, fetch, or even help her eat her vegetables, but that doesn’t stop Charlotte from loving her rock as if he were real. If only he could love her back…or can he?

Tea Rex book
#3
Tea Rex
Written & illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Some tea parties are for grown-ups. Some are for girls. But this tea party is for a very special guest. And it is important to follow some rules . . . like providing comfortable chairs, and good conversation, and yummy food. But sometimes that is not enough for special guests, especially when their manners are more Cretaceous than gracious . . .

Introducing Tea Rex, a guest that just about any child would love to have to tea!

Caveboy Crush book
#4
Caveboy Crush
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Joseph Kuefler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A caveboy-meets-cavegirl tale, with a twist!

Neander is a young caveboy. He spends his days doodling on cave walls, chasing mammoth butterflies, and playing with his pet rock, Rock. But one day, he meets Neanne—and he’s CRUSHED! She’s short, she’s hairy, she’s perfect! Neander does everything he can think of to get Neanne’s attention. He picks a bouquet for her from the Field of the Bees. He fetches a conch shell for her from the Waves of Salt. As Neander’s gestures get grander and grander, Neanne remains unimpressed. But then Neander hatches the grandest gesture of all, and it’s Neanne’s turn to do some crushing. From Beth Ferry and Joseph Kuefler comes this sweet celebration of first love—perfect for Valentine’s Day and read-alouds all year long.

We Don't Eat Our Classmates book
#5
We Don't Eat Our Classmates
Written & illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

It’s the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can’t wait to meet her classmates. But it’s hard to make human friends when they’re so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all. . . . Readers will gobble up this hilarious new story from award-winning author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins.

My First Pop-Up Dinosaurs book
#6
My First Pop-Up Dinosaurs
Written & illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Stylish artwork by award winner Owen Davey makes this 3-D introduction to dinosaurs a standout. Watch long-extinct creatures spring to life in a striking first pop-up book for budding paleontologists. Showcased are fifteen dinosaurs and prehistoric reptiles, from Ankylosaurus to Velociraptor, each one accompanied by its name and pronunciation. At once simple and sophisticated, Owen Davey’s striking pop-ups, with their geometric patterns of spiky scales, dramatic splotches, and dotted feathers, are sure to mesmerize dinosaur aficionados of all ages.

Thesaurus Has a Secret book
#7
Thesaurus Has a Secret
Written & illustrated by Anya Glazer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From author-illustrator Anya Glazer comes a humorous picture book for dinosaur fans and word lovers of all ages!

Thesaurus is an ordinary dinosaur. A very ordinary dinosaur . . . who just happens to love words. And the other dinos know that’s just who he is. But behind his verbose and fancy language, Thesaurus has also been keeping something absolutely, very, extremely top secret.

But as his lies begin to stack up, someone begins to notice. And if the other dinos discover what Thesaurus is hiding, they won’t think he’s such a normal dinosaur after all.

Dad and the Dinosaur book
#8
Dad and the Dinosaur
Written by Gennifer Choldenko & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A heartwarming father-son story about bravery and facing fears.

Nicholas was afraid of the dark outside his door, the bushes where the giant bugs live, and the underside of manhole covers.

His dad was not afraid of anything.

Nicholas wants to be as brave as his dad, but he needs help. That’s why he needs a dinosaur. After all, dinosaurs like the dark, bugs are nothing to them, and they eat manhole covers for lunch (and everything under them for dinner).

With his toy dinosaur, Nicholas can scale tall walls, swim in deep water, even score a goal against the huge goalie everyone calls Gorilla. But when the dinosaur goes missing, everything is scary again.

Luckily, his dad knows that even the bravest people can get scared, and it’s okay to ask for help facing your fears. It’s just guy stuff.

Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt book
#9
Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt
Written by Carrie Clickard & illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this rhyming, hilarious romp about a little-known facet of American history, Thomas Jefferson tries to disprove a French theory that those in the New World are puny and wussy by going in search of mammoth bones.

In the New World called America big changes were a’brewing. Independence was declared with bold hurrahs and ballyhooing!

The French feel threatened by America’s new freedom and confidence, as embodied by Count Buffon who claims that the “New World was a chilly, swampy place, filled with puny, scrawny creatures, every species, breed, and race.” Thomas Jefferson won’t stand his young country being insulted, so he sets out to prove Count Buffon wrong. He sends people across the country in search of an animal or animal bones to prove that creatures in the United States are big and strong and worthy.

Hilarious, energetic, and a delight to read aloud, this book shines a light on this little-known slice of American history. Included in the back matter are an author’s note, who’s who and what’s what from American history, bibliography, and further reading.

If a T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party book
#10
If a T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party
Written & illustrated by Jill Esbaum
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

You never know what will happen when a “T. Rex” crashes your birthday party. Sure, you’ll be super excited when he turns up. But then he ll stomp. He ll ROAR. He ll wonder how you taste with a little mustard. In the end, though, you may find yourself asking him to come back next year! This delightfully whimsical picture book has a fun twist kids will love.”

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Prehistoric Times and...

Books About Prehistoric Times and Dinosaurs And Prehistoric Creatures

Dinosaur Surprise
Written & illustrated by Agnese Baruzzi
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

What could be more exciting to a toddler than animals that turn into dinosaurs? Every animal in this book looks cute and small—until you unfold the flaps to reveal a much bigger dinosaur within! Is that a jellyfish or a Pterodactyl? Is that a parrot or a Triceratops? Open the flaps to find out…

Charlotte and the Rock
Written by Stephen W. Martin & illustrated by Samantha Cotterill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An unexpected friendship forms between a girl and her pet rock in this charming story that’s perfect for fans of What Pet Should I Get?

Charlotte has always really wanted a pet, so when her parents present her with one for her birthday she expects a cat, dog, or maybe a bird. Instead, she receives a rock. Rocks can’t cuddle, fetch, or even help her eat her vegetables, but that doesn’t stop Charlotte from loving her rock as if he were real. If only he could love her back…or can he?

Tea Rex
Written & illustrated by Molly Idle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Some tea parties are for grown-ups. Some are for girls. But this tea party is for a very special guest. And it is important to follow some rules . . . like providing comfortable chairs, and good conversation, and yummy food. But sometimes that is not enough for special guests, especially when their manners are more Cretaceous than gracious . . .

Introducing Tea Rex, a guest that just about any child would love to have to tea!

Honorable Mentions
  1. We Don't Eat Our Classmates - It’s the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can’t wait to meet her classmates. But it’s hard to make human friends when they’re so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all. . . . Readers will gobble up this hilarious new story from award-winning author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins.

  2. Thesaurus Has a Secret - From author-illustrator Anya Glazer comes a humorous picture book for dinosaur fans and word lovers of all ages! Thesaurus is an ordinary dinosaur. A very ordinary dinosaur . . . who just happens to love words. And the other dinos know that’s just who he is. But behind his verbose and fancy language, Thesaurus has also been keeping something absolutely, very, extremely top secret. But as his lies begin to stack up, someone begins to notice. And if the other dinos discover what Thesaurus is hiding, they won’t think he’s such a normal dinosaur after all.

  3. Dad and the Dinosaur - A heartwarming father-son story about bravery and facing fears. Nicholas was afraid of the dark outside his door, the bushes where the giant bugs live, and the underside of manhole covers. His dad was not afraid of anything. Nicholas wants to be as brave as his dad, but he needs help. That’s why he needs a dinosaur. After all, dinosaurs like the dark, bugs are nothing to them, and they eat manhole covers for lunch (and everything under them for dinner). With his toy dinosaur, Nicholas can scale tall walls, swim in deep water, even score a goal against the huge goalie everyone calls Gorilla. But when the dinosaur goes missing, everything is scary again. Luckily, his dad knows that even the bravest people can get scared, and it’s okay to ask for help facing your fears. It’s just guy stuff.

  4. Thomas Jefferson and the Mammoth Hunt - In this rhyming, hilarious romp about a little-known facet of American history, Thomas Jefferson tries to disprove a French theory that those in the New World are puny and wussy by going in search of mammoth bones. In the New World called America big changes were a’brewing. Independence was declared with bold hurrahs and ballyhooing! The French feel threatened by America’s new freedom and confidence, as embodied by Count Buffon who claims that the “New World was a chilly, swampy place, filled with puny, scrawny creatures, every species, breed, and race.” Thomas Jefferson won’t stand his young country being insulted, so he sets out to prove Count Buffon wrong. He sends people across the country in search of an animal or animal bones to prove that creatures in the United States are big and strong and worthy. Hilarious, energetic, and a delight to read aloud, this book shines a light on this little-known slice of American history. Included in the back matter are an author’s note, who’s who and what’s what from American history, bibliography, and further reading.

Books About Prehistoric Times and Dinosaurs

History Uncovered: Dinosaurs
Written & illustrated by Dennis Schatz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Travel back in time to the age of dinosaurs with History Uncovered: Dinosaurs! Learn about different time periods, including Jurassic and Cretaceous, and the most exciting dinosaurs that lived during each one, including Tyrannosaurus rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and more! Discover what dinosaurs ate, how they lived, and why they went extinct. As you move forward in time, experience the changing landscape of the Mesozoic Era as life evolved and the plates moved apart to create the globe we know today! The dynamic History Uncovered series shows kids how the world changed throughout history in an innovative format with stunning illustrations and fascinating facts. These books include die-cuts on every page that create a strong narrative thread, tying spreads together and engaging children to turn the page. Parents and children will pour over the information and images, and uncover new details as they return to read again and again.

My First Pop-Up Dinosaurs
Written & illustrated by Owen Davey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Stylish artwork by award winner Owen Davey makes this 3-D introduction to dinosaurs a standout. Watch long-extinct creatures spring to life in a striking first pop-up book for budding paleontologists. Showcased are fifteen dinosaurs and prehistoric reptiles, from Ankylosaurus to Velociraptor, each one accompanied by its name and pronunciation. At once simple and sophisticated, Owen Davey’s striking pop-ups, with their geometric patterns of spiky scales, dramatic splotches, and dotted feathers, are sure to mesmerize dinosaur aficionados of all ages.

Do You Really Want to Meet Spinosaurus?
Written by Annette Bay Pimentel & illustrated by Daniele Fabbri
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Six new titles in this popular adventure series feature various dinosaurs that once roamed the earth. Child adventurers become time travelers and make firsthand observations about the dinosaurs. Delightful illustrations and carefully crafted text help the stories come alive, making these books both educational and entertaining. A young child adventures back in time to 100 million years ago to meet a Spinosaurus, learning how they looked, where it lived, andhow they hunted other dinosaurs for food. This illustrated narrative nonfiction title includes a map of fossil findings, glossary, and further resources.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Jane Foster's Dinosaurs - Introduce little ones to dinosaurs in this bold and graphic board book by illustrator and textile designer Jane Foster. In this beautiful and irresistible board book, children will be introduced to bold images of dinosaurs, such as Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Velociraptor, and more! Praise for Jane Foster’s ABC and Jane Foster’s 123: “Both titles are stunningly simple, but Foster is able to create some truly arresting images here, making both books pleasurable repeat reads. A fetching and effective introduction to the world of numbers.”-starred review, Kirkus Reviews “It’s a book that style-minded parents and kids can appreciate equally.”-starred review, Publishers Weekly “This unusually attractive counting board book from the British illustrator and textile designer Jane Foster shows off her style in a way that will catch - and hold - the eye of grown-ups and younger children alike.”-New York Times Children’s Board Book roundup review

  2. Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs - From renowned pop-up masters Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart comes an awe-inspiring tribute to the world’s most beloved extinct animals and their 180-million-year reign on our planet. Open this book and a massive T. REX springs out, flashing a startling jawful of jagged teeth. Turn the next spread and a ravishing raptor unfurls and appears to fly off the edge of the page. Inside the amazing ENCYCLOPEDIA PREHISTORICA: DINOSAURS are “shield bearers” in full-body armor, creatures with frilly headgear, and weighty, long-necked giants. There are even amusing tidbits on the history of paleontology itself — like a pop-up version of a Victorian New Year’s dinner in the belly of a dinosaur model, or a pair of scientists locked in a literal tug-of-war over bones. Full of fascinating facts and lighthearted good humor, this breathtaking book includes fascinating, up-to-the-minute information about popular dinosaurs as well as many lesser-known varieties. With each of six spreads featuring one spectacular, large pop-up as well as booklets of smaller pop-ups and text, ENCYCLOPEDIA PREHISTORICA: DINOSAURS is a magnificent display of paper engineering and creativity — an astonishing book that will be read, admired, and treasured forever.

  3. The Magic School Bus in the Time of the Dinosaurs - The classroom is decorated as Dinosaur Land, but Ms. Frizzle-inspired by an archeological dig-craves a more authentic experience. The Magic School Bus turns into a time machine and transports the class back millions of years to an adventure where they learn about dinosaurs, their habitats and diets, and even a Maiasaura nesting ground.

  4. Hello, World! Dinosaurs - All young children love dinosaurs. Now here’s a board book that teaches toddlers all about Triceratops, Stegosaurus, T-rex, and many more—with colors, shapes, sizes, and super-simple facts. Hello, World! is a series designed to introduce first nonfiction concepts to babies and toddlers. Told in clear and easy terms (“T. rex’s arms were very small, even though its body was large”) and featuring bright, cheerful illustrations, Hello, World! makes learning fun for young children. And each sturdy page offers helpful prompts for engaging with your child. It’s a perfect way to bring science and nature into the busy world of a toddler, where learning never stops. Look for all the books in the Hello, World! series: Solar System, Weather, Backyard Bugs, Birds, and My Body.

Books About Prehistoric Times and Friendship

Samson in the Snow
Written & illustrated by Philip C. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

One sunny day Samson, a large and friendly woolly mammoth, encounters a little red bird who is looking for yellow flowers for her mouse friend (whose favorite color is yellow). As she flies off with the flowers, Samson wonders what it must be like to have a friend. He wonders this for so long, in fact, that he falls asleep and wakes up to a world covered in snow. In the midst of a blizzard, Samson finds and shelters the little red bird and flower-loving mouse in a tender tale of kindness and unexpected friendship.

Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug
Written by Jonathan Stutzman & illustrated by Jay Fleck
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Tiny T. Rex has a HUGE problem. His friend Pointy needs cheering up and only a hug will do. But with his short stature and teeny T. Rex arms, is a hug impossible? Not if Tiny has anything to say about it! Join this plucky little dinosaur in his very first adventure—a warm and funny tale that proves the best hugs come from the biggest hearts. Introducing an unforgettable character on the picture book scene, Tiny T. Rex will stomp into the hearts of readers in this winning new series.

Judy Moody and Friends: Searching for Stinkodon
Written by Megan McDonald & illustrated by Erwin Madrid
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Surprises are in store as Stink excavates his backyard in search of a relic from an extinct beast — and Judy lends him a little sleight of hand. Mega-chomp! Stink wants to make the find of the century. He’s on a dig, dig, digging quest in his backyard to find a tooth from a saber-toothed cat, otherwise known as a Smilodon. Why not? Two kids in Michigan found a mastodon bone in a backyard stream, and a girl in Great Britain found a pterosaur bone. It could happen! But Judy thinks the chances of finding a saber-toothed anything in the Moody backyard are one in a gazillion million. Will Stink make a discovery before their whole backyard caves in? Just right for newly independent readers, this latest story from Megan McDonald is sure to leave Moody fans with smiles as wide as a Smilodon’s.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Happy Hatchday - The first series from the bestselling and award-winning picture book genius Rob Biddulph! A brand new, creatively cretaceous story from the bestselling Rob Biddulph – and the first book in his first ever series! Meet Otto, Winnie, Greg(osaurus) and all the other dinosaur juniors, as they traverse life’s first ups and downs – all in Rob’s trademark rhyme filled with warmth and humour. This first book is perfect for Rob’s youngest fans, with colourful, detailed artwork and a simple rhyming text perfect for reading aloud.

  2. My Name Is Wakawakaloch! - In this lighthearted picture book, the intrepid, determined, and savvy Wakawakaloch learns to embrace what makes her special while lifting up her neanderthal community. Perfect for fans of Vera Brosgol and Emily Hughes. No one can pronounce Wakawakaloch’s name. Why couldn’t she be called something simple . . . like Gloop? That’s a name you can find on a T-shirt! But after a visit with her tribe’s elder, Wakawakaloch discovers what her name means, and how powerful names can be. Gloop may be easy to say, but the girl who helps her friends embrace differences and wear their names proudly? Her name is Wakawakaloch!

  3. Noah Noasaurus - Noah Noasaurus woke up feeling very No. No to brushing his teeth. No to eating breakfast. And definitely No to playing with his little brother. Things only get worse when Noah goes for a walk and relentlessly cheerful Toby Rex, Brian Brontosaurus, and Ava Ceratops follow him. Together, the group starts a bona fide dino parade that even Noah can?t resist. This lighthearted, whimsical story will have readers laughing along at Noah and his friends?as well as at their own bad moods.

  4. Dave's Rock - Dave loves his rock. Jon loves his rock, too. The two buddies compete over whose rock is biggest, fastest, prettiest, and tallest. But their woodland friends have other ideas for how to use these circles with holes in the middle. Anyone up for a ride?

Want to see books about friendship?

Books About Prehistoric Times and Science And Nature

First Facts and Flaps: Giant Dinosaurs
Written & illustrated by Editors of Silver Dolphin Books
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Lift the flaps and spin the wheel to learn about dinosaurs!

Which dinosaur had a spiky tail? How big was a T. rex tooth? Learn the answers to these questions and more in First Facts and Flaps: Giant Dinosaurs! This book introduces youngsters to the world of dinosaurs with flaps to lift, a wheel to turn, and a giant foldout. With more than 30 flaps to lift, learning about dinosaurs has never been so much fun!

My Weird School Fast Facts: Dinosaurs, Dodos, and Woolly Mammoths
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Think fast with A.J. and Andrea from My Weird School!

Did you know that the biggest dinosaur was probably six stories high and half a football field long? Did you know that Utah is the only place in the world where it’s legal to hunt dinosaurs?!

Learn more weird-but-true dinosaur facts with A.J. and Andrea from Dan Gutman’s bestselling My Weird School series. This all-new series of nonfiction books features hundreds of hysterical facts, plus lots of photos and illustrations.

Whether you’re a kid who wants to learn more about dinosaurs or simply someone who wants to know the name for fossilized dinosaur poop, this is the book for you!

With more than 12 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!

Dinosaurium
Written by Lily Murray & illustrated by Chris Wormell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The newest title in the Welcome to the Museum series focuses its attention on the impressive beasts that once ruled the world: dinosaurs. With artwork from Chris Wormell, this stunningly curated guide to dinosaurs gives readers the experience of a fascinating exhibition from the pages of a beautiful book. Featuring a wonderful range of dinosaurs, from the much-loved triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex to lesser known species such as coelophysis and tsintaosaurus, Dinosaurium is a fascinating display of the impressive beasts that once ruled the world.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Dinosaur Empire! - Ronnie is just a normal fifth-grader trying to pass her science class’s impossible quiz on the history of dinosaurs . . . until she happens upon her neighbor—Ms. Lernin—a retired paleontologist. With the assistance of Science Magic, Ronnie and Ms. Lernin travel back through time and space to experience the Mesozoic Era firsthand. They visit three important time periods in the development of the Mesozoic Era: the Triassic, the Jurassic, and the Cretaceous. Along the way, Ronnie finds herself face-to-face with real-life dinosaurs and reptiles, like stegosauruses, velociraptors, and thalattosaurs. With the help of her neighbor’s trusty knowledge of prehistoric times, she learns the differences between herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores, as well as between dinosaurs, insects, and reptiles. This insightful and informative graphic novel uses engaging art to bring facts to life, giving kids the tools to understand the evolution of these prehistoric creatures and the important effects this era had on our world today.

  2. Ocean Renegades! - “Determined to show Ronnie just how interesting prehistoric life was BEFORE the age of the dinosaurs, Miss Lernin takes her back in time to the six parts of the Paleozoic era to study the earliest lifeforms on Earth, starting with the rise of the vertebrates”—]cProvided by publisher.

  3. Explore a T. Rex - A fascinating three-dimensional presentation provides the reader with an in-depth, hands-on exploration of an awe-inspiring T. rex. In Explore a T. Rex, a fascinating three-dimensional presentation allows in-depth, hands-on exploration of the most fearsome dinosaur that ever prowled the earth. This unique “model” can be deconstructed and rebuilt layer by layer, system by system, just by turning the page, so the reader can see how each part of the T. rex’s body is connected to the others. By combining a 3-D model with informative text and pictures, Explore a T. Rex helps children understand how dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes ruled the prehistoric world for millions of years.

  4. Roar: A Dinosaur Tour - A long, long time ago, dinosaurs roamed the earth. Some were big, and some were little. Some were fast, and some were slow. Some lived alone, and some lived together. They are gone now, but you can still see their bones at museums all around the world. Simple text and bold, vibrant illustrations take young explorers on a tour through the time of the dinosaurs.

Books About Prehistoric Times and Social Themes

Caveboy Crush
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Joseph Kuefler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A caveboy-meets-cavegirl tale, with a twist!

Neander is a young caveboy. He spends his days doodling on cave walls, chasing mammoth butterflies, and playing with his pet rock, Rock. But one day, he meets Neanne—and he’s CRUSHED! She’s short, she’s hairy, she’s perfect! Neander does everything he can think of to get Neanne’s attention. He picks a bouquet for her from the Field of the Bees. He fetches a conch shell for her from the Waves of Salt. As Neander’s gestures get grander and grander, Neanne remains unimpressed. But then Neander hatches the grandest gesture of all, and it’s Neanne’s turn to do some crushing. From Beth Ferry and Joseph Kuefler comes this sweet celebration of first love—perfect for Valentine’s Day and read-alouds all year long.

Tek
Written & illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From a beloved, bestselling Caldecott Honor recipient comes a hilarious reminder of how technology can take us backward… all the way to the times of prehistoric man! Tek is a cave boy in love with tech: his tablet, videogames, phone, and TV keep him deep in his cave, glued to his devices, day in and day out. He never sees his friends or family anymore—and his ability to communicate has devolved to just one word: “UGH”! Can anyone in the village convince Tek to unplug and come outside into the big, beautiful world? A distinctive package and design cleverly evokes the experience of using an electronic device that eventually shuts down… and after a magic page turn, Tek (and the reader) reconnects with the real world.

Dave's Cave
Written & illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Dave loves his cave. The inside is decorated exactly the way he likes it. But what if there’s a better cave out there? Dave needs to find out for himself. This humorous romp from a celebrated author-illustrator reminds readers that sometimes there’s no place like home. Full color.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I Really Love You - A very long time ago, dinosaurs lived all over the world. They were various colors, shapes, and sizes, and spoke different languages. One snowy winter, with his skillful use of words, Tapejara almost tricks a Tyrannosaurus to its death. A weak Tyrannosaurus meets three friendly Homalocephale and they save his life, even though they do not understand each other’s languages. They become good friends and start communicating with their hearts. One day, while picking up red berries for the Tyrannosaurus, Homalocephale meets Albertosaurus, who is hungry and speaks the same language as the Tyrannosaurus. I Really Love You shows that heartfelt communication is about more than just words.

  2. I Am a Tyrannosaurus - A little Pterosaur lives on top of a rocky mountain, where his mother teaches him to be kind and to always help others in need. One day, a huge Tyrannosaurus falls down the mountain and is injured as he tries to catch the little Pterosaur. Remembering his mother’s lesson, the little Pterosaur decides to take care of the injured Tyrannosaurus. As a result of his fall, the Tyrannosaurus temporarily loses his sight, and asks, “Who is there?” The Pterosaur hides and answers, “I am a Tyrannosaurus.” The fifth title in this acclaimed Tyrannosaurus series, I Am a Tyrannosaurus, delivers a heartwarming story about being kind and helping others with vivid, brightly colored illustrations and endearingly drawn characters.

Books About Prehistoric Times and Action And Adventure

The First Dog
Written & illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An exciting tale of adventure in prehistoric times, set against a spectacular Ice Age landscape.

Kip the cave boy bounds along the trail home with a sack of warm and tasty Woolly Rhino ribs. If he could only get rid of pesky Paleowolf, who follows him, hoping for a taste of those delicious ribs! But Paleowolf’s presence turns out to be useful: His warnings save Kip from the Cave Bear, the Mighty Mammoth, and the frightening Saber-Toothed Cat. So Kip offers to share his food—if Paleowolf will use his keen nose, fine ears, and sharp eyes to keep Kip from being eaten up. With a bark and a wag of his tail, Paleowolf agrees to this bargain, and Kip christens his new friend “Dog.” In this exciting tale of adventure in prehistoric times, Jan Brett creates a spectacular Ice Age landscape populated with the massive animals of the time and bordered with images inspired by cave paintings and Ice Age artifacts. She convincingly portrays the growth of the warm bond between man and animal that must, long, long ago, have resulted in the first domesticated dog.

Mucking About
Written by John Chambers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

We are in Ireland and it’s an awfully long time ago. Centuries and centuries. The country is supposed to have gone Christian, but there’s still magic in the air, druids in the forest, fairy music in the distance. Manchán’s mother wants to make a monk of Manchán. Manchán most emphatically does not want to be made a monk of. He’d rather sing songs with his father, or go fishing with his friend, Pagan-of the-Six-Toes, or go charging through the forest with his pet pig, Muck, or go bare-back riding over the bog on the chieftain’s mad ram, Balor. Anything fun or adventurous or magical, and absolutely nothing to do with turnips, penance, prayers, monks, and chanting. Poor Manchán! The more he mucks about having fun, the more his mother is determined to tame him.

Dinosaurs Before Dark
Written by Mary Pope Osborne & illustrated by Sal Murdocca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Where did the tree house come from?

Before Jack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark…or will they become a dinosaur’s dinner?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Sunset of the Sabertooth - The Ice Age is very cool…for two kids in bathing suits! Jack and Annie nearly freeze when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to the time of cave people and woolly mammoths. But nothing can stop them from having another wild adventure—not even a saber-toothed tiger!

  2. Feathered Dinosaurs - “A beautiful exploration of recently-discovered feathered dinosaurs—the ancient ancestors of birds today!”—

  3. It's Not a Bed, It's a Time Machine - Bedtime can be frightening—a dark room, spooky shadows, silence. Our narrator worries about what’s hiding in the dark, until his stuffed bunny, Floppy, tells him a secret: His bed is really a time machine. And they set off on an adventure into the past, to the coolest time ever—the age of the dinosaurs—to meet the coolest animal ever—the tyrannosaurus rex! This night’s sleep will span millions of years, but it’s so fun it’ll feel like it’s over in the blink of an eye. It’s Not a Bed, It’s a Time Machine is the ultimate goodnight picture book, showing that going to sleep is nothing to be afraid of. Instead, it’s just the beginning of a time-spanning adventure.

  4. If You Give a T-Rex a Bone - Heads up, dino lovers! If by chance you end up in an ancient habitat, and if you offer a T-Rex a bone, things could get . . . well . . . interesting. Dangerously interesting! Storyteller and teacher Tim Myers magically introduces the reader to all types of dinosaurs in quirky sort of way. The boy in the story had a tough day, dodging T-Rex by hiding in the underbrush, only to encounter a toothy dimetrodon. He escapes into a nearby bay, only to attract a 42-foot kronsaurus . . . it was a long day, running to and fro among ancient habitats. There is lots of science, but no boring nonfiction here!

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