Cover of How Do Dinosaurs Say I'm Mad by Jane Yolen

How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Mad

This How Do Dinos book was the editor’s idea, but I took to it with gusto–as did illustrator Mark Teague. How many times have those of us with children (or who are next door to neighbors’ children) seen toddlers through five-year-olds have massive meltdowns? All of us! And who could have a more massive meltdown than a dinosaur? So flinging caution (and everything else, dino style) to the winds, we began. There was a massive top-brass meltdown over the title and the original cover. They wanted the title to be How Do Dinosaurs Say I’m Sorry. And wanted a busier cover. But our editor (and Mark and I) stood firm and our title and his cover remained all the way through the process and is what you see today and ven the top-brass now love it all. I am delighted as always by the editorial direction, the artwork, the way Scholastic Books has taken this series to its corporate heart. (And you thought corporations have no heart!)

And if we are very lucky, the stars align, and the tv writers can work their magic, some day in my lifetime there may be a tv show! Or not. It’s out of my hands. Alas.

What reviewers have said:

  • “Speaking of dinosaurs, if you’re like me and have a little one heading off to school for the first time, you may need some help from these prehistoric creatures. Lessons at school aren’t always reading and writing and arithmetic; sometimes kids need help learning how to manage their emotions, and who better to help them than giant temper tantrum-throwing dinosaurs? If they can learn to control themselves, so can your children.”—Huffington Post
  • “Yes, even dinosaurs have bad days, and a few of them are at their worst in this addition to Yolen and Teague’s popular series. It’s always a delight to watch Teague’s dinosaurs misbehave, and that’s especially true when they’re throwing tantrums: an ungainly barapa-saurus sticks out its tongue at its human sister (who sticks hers out right back), a thecodont “throw[s]” toys about,” and an afrovenator scribbles its name on the wall and sends a chair flying “When he’s told to sit still.” As in the previous books, proper behavior—including hugs, apologies, and neatening up—closes out the book. Good advice on handling albertosaurus-size bad moods.”—Publishers Weekly
  • “Yolen understands the value of the book beyond its surface entertainments, offering a note about the realities of anger and the value of apology. And Teague upholds his end of the bargain, carefully attending to the authenticity of the dinosaurs on display, and providing a diversity of human families as well. A solid, welcome addition to the series.” –Booklist
  • “…not only will this title be a favorite at storytime, it may also serve as a discussion starter about feelings and how best to express and cope with them.” —Kirkus Reviews
  • “Yolen creates a wonderful story arc using one or two sentences per page. The illustrations, made with acrylics in muted hues, jump off the page…Pair this outstanding title with Molly Bang’s classic When Sophie Gets Angry–Really, Really Angry”—School Library Journal
  • “From sullen pouting to toy-tossing tantrums, Yolen and Teague’s defiant—and very childlike—dinosaurs exhibit many of the behaviors associated with anger. The lighthearted text outlines common causes for outbursts, including being told “No!” or rebelling against naptime, before timeouts and calming breathes result in apologies, cleans ups, and hugs all around. Identified by species and presented in glorious giant-size, the critters’ humorously exaggerated body language and facial expressions ring true with readers to illicit giggles and encourage self-awareness.” — Joyce Fleischacker, School Library Journal