We are pretty avid readers at our house (kids and adults alike) and read a wide range of books. There are however a few authors that keep us coming back again and again. For my boys Jane Yolen is one of those authors. Jane Yolen writes a whole series about Dinosaurs and their behaviors (as if they were humans of course!).
In How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, Yolen depicts exasperated (human) parents putting their dinosaur children to bed with such lines as "How does a dinosaur say goodnight when Papa comes in to turn out the light?" and "Does a dinosaur slam his tail and pout?" or "Does he throw his teddy bear all about?". It is easy even for the youngest listener to understand that those dinosaurs on the page are behaving an awful lot like some kids they know when it becomes time for bed! The first portion of the book is spent on the naughty behaviors of the dinosaurs while the closing pages explain how the well behaved dinos REALLY carry on at bedtime. They "turn out the light and tuck in their tails and whisper goodnight".
My boys adore this book. It gets them laughing with the silly antics of the dinosaurs and I really like the fun way Yolen slips a good behavior lesson in. Reading this book ends the night on a happy note and often my own dinosaurs "whisper goodnight" when it is done. Mark Teague is the illustrator of the book and does a fantastic job with "actual dinosaurs". Each page shows a dino of a different breed (species??) like a stegosaurus or a pteranodon and the dinosaur lovers in your life will appreciate the attention to detail. My guys always get a giggle over the Trachodon hurling books around the room while demanding a new story.
As I mentioned, Yolen has a whole series of the dinosaur books. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight is one of our favorites but we have several including How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food and How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon. Jane Yolen always does a great job sneaking in a good manners lesson while keeping the laughs coming. Enjoy!