Cover of How Do Dinosaurs Go to School by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School

Illustrated by Mark Teague
Scholastic 2007
ISBN# 0439020816

The idea for this book came from the Scholastic booksellers, and boy! were they right. I wrote it remembering my son Adam going to school, and my grandson (Adam’s son), and all the trouble they got into being boisterous, and mouthy, and smart. No one should break boisterous little boys of their loud enthusiasms, but the need to channel it into positive ways informs the book. There is a difference between boisterous and bullying, after all.

The book was well received and the MerryMakers stuffed dino with backpack that accompanies the book is adorable.

What reviewers have said:

  • “A new cast of brightly colored dinosaurs appears in this charming back-to-school story. The text’s easy rhyme and rhythm will be familiar to those who have read other books in this series, and Teague’s charismatic and naughty dinosaurs will continue to delight readers with their antics and exuberance. Stygimoloch using one arm to prop up his raised hand as he blurts out is also likely to draw a smile from veteran teachers. A fun read-aloud for the first day of school.”—School Library Journal
  • “This eighth entry (counting the two board books) in the Yolen/Teague How Do Dinosaurs series features a cast of 10 brightly colored dinosaurs that manage to dominate the double-page spreads without overwhelming them. Questions arise when the dinos are put in common school-day situations. Would dinosaurs walk to school or carpool? Would they stomp and make a fuss on the bus? Would they roughhouse and punch and disrupt the class by yelling or fidgeting with their tails in the air? Of course not. Before they leap out the door at the end of the school day, readers will realize that these dinosaurs are helpful, tidy, and protective, “growling at the bullies till the bullying ends.” Yolen’s short, rhyming text and Teague’s irresistible, cavorting dinosaurs perfectly convey how dinosaurs could behave in school, large and powerful though they may be.”–Booklist
  • “Jane Yolen and Mark Teague have done another wonderful job at creating a funny book that gets small children to think about their own behavior at school. This is a fun book for the classroom, library story time, and at home.”–
  • “Jane Yolen’s pitch-perfect rhyme flows very well; the book lends itself nicely to reading aloud and to groups without sounding fake or forced. Paired with Mark Teague’s expressive children and dinosaurs that play and learn together, the combination is a light and yet effective look at how you really should behave at school, a gentle reminder that’s likely to be remembered by children because they’ll readily recollect the over-the-top dinosaur antics. What’s especially nice about the dinosaur series is that the name of the featured dinosaur is included in small font near the animal, unobtrusive yet there, which means you’ll be prepared when your child asks, “What’s that dinosaur called?” The book’s endpapers are thoughtfully illustrated with miniatures of the dinosaurs along with their names as well, very handy for quick reference and even an impromptu game of hide and seek (“Can you find the dinosaur in the book that looks like this?”) In a long-running series like the How Do Dinosaurs? books, it’s nice to see the storytelling and artwork remain consistent in tone, style, and humor, each new book like a visit from an old friend with new adventures.”—