Dinosaurs aren’t just for kids and scientists – they’re for all ages! Here are books about those famous, fierce reptiles that are perfect for everyone.

Elementary readers

1. Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs

By Kathleen Kudlinski and illustrated by S. D. Schindler

Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs!

This highly entertaining picture book takes a look at dinosaur myths through the ages. Dinosaurs have captivated human imagination since the first of their bones were unearthed, but scientists didn’t always know exactly what to make of them. Even today, scientists are learning new information and revising what we thought we knew about the dinosaurs.

2. The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins

By Barbara Kerley and illustrated by Brian Selznick

The Dinosaurs Of Waterhouse Hawkins

This strange-but-true picture book chronicles the life of one Waterhouse Hawkins, a Victorian-era artists and dinosaur connoisseur. Inspired by newly discovered fossils, Hawkins embarked on the ambitious task of creating the first life-size dinosaur models. His work took him from England to New York City, and this picture book biography chronicles his triumphs and defeats along the way. Selznick’s outstanding illustrations made this a Caldecott Honor Book in 2002.

3. Tea Rex

By Molly Idle

Tea Rex

This delightful book – about inviting a dinosaur to tea – is written as an etiquette guide for any young host or hostess aspiring to throw a perfect tea party for their favorite t-rex. Young readers are admonished to greet their guest at the door and offer them a comfy chair. While the advice is prim and proper, the illustrations show dinosaurs running amuck, wrecking absolute havoc on the formal occasion. The interplay between the text and the illustrations makes this a delightful read.

4. Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning, the First Paleontologist

By Linda Skeers and illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns

Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning, the First  Paleontologist (Women in Science Biographies, Fossil Books for Kids,  Feminist Picture Books, Dinosaur Gifts for Kids)

Dinosaur Lady tells the true story of Mary Anning, an underrecognized figure in paleontology. Because during the nineteenth century, paleontology was a field dominated by men, Anning’s prehistoric discoveries went unrecognized by the scientific community. As a woman, she was not allowed to join the Geological Society of London. Yet she discovered the first correctly identified ichthyosaur at 12, as well as many other plant and animal fossils, during her explorations of the cliffs along the English Channel. This meticulously researched picture book final gives Anning the recognition she deserves.

5. Tiny T-Rex and the Impossible Hug

By Jonathan Stutzman and illustrated by Jay Fleck

Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug

Tiny T-Rex and the Impossible Hug is the first of four fun Tiny T-Rex titles. Each features the lovable t-rex, Tiny. In this book, Tiny wants to cheer up his best friend Pointy with a nice hug, but his little arms just won’t allow that. He tries and tries to learn to hug (learning along the way that a cactus doesn’t make a good practice partner). However, eventually, circumstances conspire to allow Tiny to achieve his dream.

6. Dinosaur Feathers

By Dennis Nolan

Dinosaur Feathers

This exquisitely illustrated picture book is about the evolution of dinosaurs into birds. Whereas dinos are normally depicted in earth tones like green and brown, Nolan’s dinosaurs are beautifully rendered in many colors. The story of their evolutionary journey is told through rhythmic, rhyming text that is a delightful accompaniment to the illustrations.

7. The Girl and the Dinosaur

By Hollie Hughes and Sarah Massini

The Girl and the Dinosaur

A young girl named Marianne unearths a dinosaur fossil and then wishes with all her heart for it to come to life. It does, and they go on magical adventures in a land of imagination that includes fairies and unicorns. It’s a unique take on a dinosaur book, but one that succeeds because of its soft, lovely illustrations and rhyming text.

8. In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More Than 500 Million Years

By David Elliott and illustrated by Matthew Trueman

In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to  Mammoths in More Than 500 Million Years

This book is like a giant timeline organized chronologically by epoch. Small poems accompany illustrations of fascinating prehistoric creatures not often found in dinosaur books, such as the Titanoboa and the Dunkleosteus.

9. Time Flies

By Eric Rohmann

Time Flies

This exquisite wordless picture book illustrates the story of a bird trapped in a natural history museum. The bird flies into the dinosaur hall of the museum, and the museum melts away, revealing a new prehistoric setting in which the bird flies among dinosaurs, its evolutionary ancestors.

Middle readers

10. Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Life (DK Children’s Anthologies)

By Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan

Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Life (DK Children's Anthologies):  Chinsamy-Turan, Professor Anusuya: 9780744039436: Amazon.com: Books

This well-designed book is a treasure trove of information. It is a compendium of information about prehistoric life. Much of the information included is factual and encyclopedic, but this book also goes into detail about myths and legends involving dinosaurs. The illustrations add to the entire package, creating a book the whole family can enjoy. 

11. Dad and the Dinosaur

By Gennifer Choldenko and illustrated by Dan Santat

Dad and the Dinosaur

Nicholas is afraid of everything, and I mean everything – the dark, bugs, you name it. He longs to be like his dad, who isn’t afraid of anything. Nicholas carries around a small plastic dinosaur to help him face his fears (because after all, dinosaurs aren’t scared of the dark). When his favorite toy goes missing, Nicholas’ dad shows him where true bravery comes from – the heart. 

12. Dinosaur Art: The World’s Greatest Paleoart

By Steve White

Dinosaur Art: The World's Greatest Paleoart

This unique book features the world’s top paleoartists – artists who specialize in art reconstructing dinosaurs. Ten paleoartists and their work are included in this book. The artists offer insight into their artistic process, and their art is on full-color display throughout this book that is sure to interest older students looking to move beyond picture books.

13. Dinosaurs 101: What Everyone Should Know about Dinosaur Anatomy, Ecology, Evolution, and More

By W. Scott Persons IV, Philip J. Currie and Victoria Arbour

Dinosaurs 101 : What Everyone Should Know about Dinosaur Anatomy, Ecology,  Evolution, and More

The authors of this book are world-renowned paleontologists, yet they take their subject matter and break it down into easily digestible information for young readers. This book provides exactly what the title suggests – it’s an informative survey of the world of dinosaurs that is guaranteed to both educate and entertain.

14. The Enormous Egg

By Oliver Butterworth and illustrated by Louis Darling

The Enormous Egg

This classic piece of middle-grade fiction is still entertaining to this day. Twelve-year-old Nate Twitchell is tasked with caring for a giant egg laid by a chicken on his family’s farm. He’s shocked when a triceratops hatches out of the egg instead! Hilarity ensues. This is a great read-aloud for upper elementary or early middle school students.

15. Giant Sea Reptiles of the Dinosaur Age

By Caroline Arnold and illustrated by Laurie Caple

Giant Sea Reptiles of the Dinosaur Age

Marine reptiles like ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and mosasaurs shared the prehistoric world with their gigantic land counterparts. There is a lot of information contained in this book, but author Caroline Arnold masterfully breaks it down into chapters. Laurie Caple’s nuanced watercolors round out the reading experience.

16. Dinosaur Eggs Discovered: Unscrambling the Clues 

By Lowell Dingus, Rodolfo A. Coria, and Luis M. Chiappe

Dinosaur Eggs Discovered: Unscrambling the Clues

This book is meaty, containing loads of information for the true dinosaur buff. It is not necessarily light reading, but students who have a deep interest in dinos will find tons of new facts in Dinosaur Eggs Discovered. The book focuses on dinosaur egg discoveries and explores what these prehistoric nests can tell us about the lives of dinosaurs.

17. Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up

By Robert Saburda and Matthew Reinhart 

Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs

This spectacular pop-up book will be sure to delight kids (and older dino-enthusiasts, too). Each spread features one dinosaur species complete with entertaining facts and tidbits as well as stunning pop-up art. Some pages offer bonus foldout sections with even more information.

Teen readers

18. Dinosaurs―The Grand Tour

By Keiron Pim 

Dinosaurs―The Grand Tour, Second Edition: Everything Worth Knowing About  Dinosaurs from Aardonyx to Zuniceratops

This massive 368-page encyclopedia is the definitive guide to, as the title says, “everything worth knowing about dinosaurs.” Last updated in 2019, this contains cutting-edge information about paleontology, including stories of field expeditions to uncover dinosaur fossils. Helpful sidebars are filled with pertinent information like dinosaur size and geographic distribution.

19. Weird Dinosaurs: The Strange New Fossils Challenging Everything We Thought We Knew 

By John Pickrell

Weird Dinosaurs: The Strange New Fossils Challenging Everything We Thought  We Knew

Dinosaur books often cover the same ground, featuring the all-stars of the dino kingdom (t-rex, triceratops, stegosaurus, velociraptor, etc.). This book takes a different approach, delving into strange dinosaur discoveries that are changing the way paleontologists understand these prehistoric reptiles. Included in Weird Dinosaurs are dinosaur fossils that hail from Alaska, dwarf dinosaurs, and a Chinese dinosaur with wings.

20. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

By Steve Brusatte

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

Author Steve Brusatte is one of today’s foremost paleontologists, responsible for discovering 10 new species of dinosaurs. Brusatte uses a highly readable style in this book to tell the complete story of the dinosaurs, from their evolution to their mass extinction. He also shares stories from his own fieldwork. This is not a dense academic tome; instead, it is an enjoyable nonfiction narrative that is both fun and fascinating.

21. Dinosaurs Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution in Paleontology

By Michael J. Benton

Dinosaurs Rediscovered: The Scientific Revolution in Paleontology

Dinosaurs Rediscovered takes a close look at the ways in which technology has transformed paleontology. While fossil discoveries are still the “bread and butter” of dinosaur science, new technology allows scientists to gather new information from those same old fossils.

22. Dinosaurs Without Bones

By Anthony J Martin

Dinosaurs Without Bones

This book asks a fascinating question – what do we know about dinosaurs if we remove their bones from the equation? This question is the focus of a field of study known as ichnology, the study of “trace fossils,” things like dinosaur tracks, nests, and toothmarks. Trace fossils hint at things such as social behavior of dinosaurs. Martin, a paleologist, has a sense of humor that makes this book readable and appealing to the masses.

23. Dinopedia

By Darren Naish


This concise little book is just wonderful – it’s a nicely designed hardcover that is almost pocket-sized. Yet, in spite of its small stature, it covers an astonishing array of dinosaur information, containing encyclopedic overviews of everything from species to researchers.

24. The Age of Ancient Sea Monsters

By Zhao Chuang and Yang Yang

Age of Ancient Sea Monsters (PNSO Field Guide to the Ancient World, 3):  Chuang, Zhao, Yang, Yang, Norell, Mark A., Dr.: 9781612545301: Amazon.com:  Books

Who among us hasn’t looked at the ocean and wondered what mysteries and monsters it once held? The Age of Ancient Sea Monsters delves into the story of ancient reptiles that once ruled the seas. Fantastic illustrations accompany scientifically-solid text.

25. Unearthing the Dragon

By Mark A. Norell and Mick Ellison

Unearthing the Dragon

This fascinating nonfiction book is about the Jehol dinosaur finds in Linangong, China, which led to new understandings in paleontology, including the discovery that dinosaurs have feathers. Author Mark A. Norell was one of the lead researchers working at Jehol, and his passion for his work makes this an entertaining read. Intermixed with the paleontology are many anecdotes about modern Chinese culture, which the author also treats with his characteristic enthusiasm. Photos and illustrations contribute to the reading experience as well.

25 Dinosaur Books that Anyone at Any Age Will Absolutely Love