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How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night by Jane Yolen

Updated on August 30, 2017

My Book Review of How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night Written by Jane Yolen and beautifully illustrated by Mark Teague, is but one of the many great children's literary works of Jane Yolen. I love using How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night as a read aloud in my classroom because children are absolutely caught up in the cadence of its lyrical beauty. As a special education teacher, I have utilized many of Jane Yolen's books including How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night across both primary and intermediate grades. The universal appeal of her characters as well as her portrayal of situations encountered in everyday life, makes her writings age appropriate for a wide array of ages. This book serves up a powerful message about learning appropriate behaviors related to situations in which a child wants to behave in a way that is not always the most productive. How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night models the appropriate way to go to bed in a manner that makes children laugh and enjoy going to bed. This particular book tells a tale that illustrates many of the negative bedtime behaviors that young children demonstrate when it's time to go to bed, and the appropriate behavioral redirections to model good behaviors. All this drama of both good and bad behaviors are portrayed through a very endearing creature, an over-sized child like dinosaur.

"How does a dinosaur say good night when Papa comes in to turn off the light? Does a dinosaur slam his tail and pout? Does he throw his teddy bear all about? Does a dinosaur stomp his feet on the floor and shout: "I want to hear one book more!"? And in the end when it is all said and done! "They tuck in their tails. They whisper, "Good night!"

Jane Yolen has written over 200 books and this one has received the most honors of all her books.

She states "This is the book of mine that has won the most honors: Book of the Month Club's Best Picture Book of 2000, a Booklist Editor's Choice, Time magazine pick as runner-up for best book for the "Inexhaustible Sprite" in the November 20, 2000 issue, one of School Library Journal's Best Books 2000, awarded one of the nine Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Book Awards 2001 for preschool books, a Nick Jr. magazine choice as a best book for kids ages 3-5, an ABA Pick of the Lists, on the 2000 Capitol Choices - Noteworthy Books for Children list for Up to Seven, winner of a 2000 Christopher Medal, winner of a 2001 ABC Children's Booksellers Choices Award, a nominee for the 2001-2002 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award, one of the finalists for the 2001 Book Sense Books of the Year, listed by the Texas Library Association on its list of 20 recommended books for children, age two to grade two (the 2x2 List), chosen as an American Library Association Notable Children's Book 2001, on the New York Times Children's Best Sellers List for five months, on Publishers Weekly Best Selling Picture Books for eight months, three starred reviews, on the Christian Science Monitor's Children's Best Sellers list (May 2001), WON the Gold Medal Florida Children's Book Award 2001-2002, Honor Book for the Massachusetts Book Award 2001, one of the Wyoming's 2001-2002 Buckeroo Award nominees, on the Tennessee 2002-2003 Volunteer State Book Award list, nominated for the 2002 Colorado Children's Book Award, on the Nevada Young Readers Award list 2003, nominated for the 2003 Maryland Children's Book Award, one of two books chosen for the National Center for Family Literacy's first Annual Award, which is for a "thought-provoking new title that engages families in sharing literary traditions before bed." It has also been chosen by the Abilene, Texas children as the 2001 Mockingbird Book Award winner. A 2000 Parents' Choice Approved winner.

It has Korean, Dutch, Chinese, Brazilian, French, Spanish, and Hebrew editions.

Scholastic Book Club has brought out two paperback editions, one in English, one in Spanish, as well as a tape (English only)."

Now that is a very impressive list of honors! As a professional educator, I can personally testify to the fact that those honors are very well deserved! I love Jane Yolen's books as you can see, and I don't pass up an opportunity to read them to my grandchildren or to my students. When an opportunity arises to read a great book and teach a lesson about life in the process, I reach for Jane's books on my book shelves. I highly recommend this book to both parents and teachers, particularly those who have preschoolers or children in the primary grades (grades 1-3). Parents and children alike will love its whimsical rhyming tale and appreciate the message it models.

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The Book Cover

The Book Cover
The Book Cover

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night - This is one great childrens book!

Editorial Reviews

"How does a dinosaur say good night when Papa comes in to turn off the light? Does a dinosaur slam his tail and pout? Does he throw his teddy bear all about? Does a dinosaur stomp his feet on the floor and shout: 'I want to hear one book more!'? DOES A DINOSAUR ROAR?" Most certainly not. Dinosaurs give their mommies and daddies big hugs and kisses, tuck their tales in, and whisper "Good night!"

Every sleepy little dinosaur will recognize the tricks of the trade in these bedtime shenanigans. The chuckle factor is sky-high here, with giant, full-page pictures of cleverly identified Tyrannosaurus rexes, triceratopses, and Pteranodons. A variety of human mothers and fathers trying to put their dinosaur children to bed will bring the point home that the story may have something to do with human kid behavior as well. This good-natured nighttime book is sure to be a winner (even though it might inspire a few noisy dinosaur antics), especially as it's written by Jane Yolen, prolific Caldecott Medalist author of Owl Moon. Yolen and Mark Teague have teamed up to create a fun, silly, playful read-aloud. (Ages 3 to 7) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Set to a lilting bedtime beat, this rollicking rumpus of a tale ups the humor ante in a familiar scenario by substituting dinosaurs for children: "How does a dinosaur say good night when Papa comes in to turn off the light?" In a series of snappy lines, Yolen (Off We Go!, reviewed above; Queen's Own Fool, reviewed below) highlights a variety of postponement antics, some familiar (moping, sulking and demanding "one book more!"), some of a distinctly dinosaur variety--"Does a dinosaur slam his tail and pout? Does he throw his teddy bear all about?" Teague makes hay with the text, and as always his illustrations are a flurry of sly madcap inspiration. He chooses the winged Pteranodon (spelled out in ABC blocks on the bedroom floor) as the character who throws his teddy bear while flying about the room; for "Does he swing his neck from side to side" it's the snake-headed Apatosaurus who does the swinging. Under his sure direction, the sight gag never grows stale, and the sight of a T-Rex puckering up for a kiss, or an enormous Stegosaurus crammed into a tiny bed and daintily turning off the light switch with the tip of his tail, is sure to elicit giggles. As the endpapers reveal, there's a cast of 10 dinosaurs featured here, and sharp eyes will enjoy spotting their proper names tucked into each illustration. This rib-tickling bedtime fare packs plenty of appeal. Ages 2-up. (Apr.)

Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K-A rhyming, moral read-it-again tale. "How does a dinosaur say good night when Papa comes in to turn off the light?/Does a dinosaur slam his tail and pout?" Teague's wonderful rounded illustrations show 10 dinosaur species (all identified) as they settle down for the night in their human households. "Does a dinosaur stomp his feet on the floor/and shout: 'I want to hear one book more?'" After demonstrating a variety of bad bedtime behaviors, the reptiles are then shown to be model youngsters. "They give a big hug, then give one kiss more." While the message is a little obvious, it is impossible to resist Teague's endearing dinos.

Kathleen Whalin, Greenwich Country Day School, CT

Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Parents' Choice

As the subject of a book for youngest listener/viewers, dinosaurs are like money in the bank to publishers. And when they are accompanied by a seasoned author like Jane Yolen and an illustrator as ingratiating as Mark Teague, nursery best-sellerdom is virtually guaranteed. While adults may initially question these lumbering behemoths as suitable bedtime-story fare, Teague has miraculously contrived to render Allosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and eight other creatures of their ilk irresistibly cuddly. Yolen's lilting, reassuring verse cries out for repetition, so grown-up readers should brace themselves for countless requests to "Read it again." A 2000 Parents' Choice Approved winner.

Reviewed by Selma G. Lanes, Parents' Choice 2000 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

The text is sweet and simple--just right for the wonderful pictures that really make this picture book special. Teague's art takes dinosaurs out of their usual context and plops them into bed (a rather comical fit) for a sleepy-time tale with a difference. Endpapers introduce the critter cast in all their gorgeous glory: tyrannosaurus rex, dimetrodon, and more, in vivid, yet still earthbound colors. Prima donna dinos, they yawn and fuss and throw toys about, procrastinating (just like real kids) any way they can as human Moms and Dads, ready to put "baby" to bed, look on in various stages of impatience, anger, and surprise. The whimsical expressions on the "children's" faces give solid clues to the joke. By cleverly varying his perspectives, Teague adds dramatic punch to the pictures--readers watch from above as one behemoth baby whips its neck from side to side; they watch from below when another stamps its huge feet; and they're face to face with one snoozing T-rex hugging its teddy bear close. Alert lookers will notice the dino's name incorporated somewhere into each picture--pteranodon is neatly spelled out in blocks on the floor. A delight from start to finish; better buy more than one. Stephanie Zvirin --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

What if a dinosaur catches the flu?Does he whimper and whine between each "At-choo"?Does he drop dirty tissues all over the floor?Does he fling his medicine out of the door? Just like kids, little dinosaurs hate being sick. And going to the doctor can be pretty scary. How DO dinosaurs get well soon? They drink lots of juice, and they get lots of rest; they're good at the doctor's, 'cause doctors know best. As in their first dinosaur book, Yolen and Teague capture children's fears about being sick and put them to rest with playful read-aloud verse and hilarious pictures.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Card catalog description

Mother and child ponder the different ways a dinosaur can say goodnight, from slamming his tail and pouting to giving a big hug and kiss. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

How does a dinosaur say good night when Mama comes in to turn off the light? Buy the book & find out

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The best line ever:

No, dinosaurs don't. They don't even try. They give a big kiss.

How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?
How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?

From School Library JournalPreSchool-Grade 2—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. The illustration accompanying "DOES A DINOSAUR YELL?" is sure to elicit smiles as an excited Herrerasaurus leaps out of his chair proudly holding up a newly lost tooth. His teacher looks annoyed, but his classmates all turn toward him with their own gap-toothed grins. The 10 dinosaurs that appear are identified on the endpapers where each is hard at work or play. 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.—Neala Arnold, St. Francis Elementary School, MNCopyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.From BooklistThis 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. Fans of the other titles in the series will welcome this new lesson on how to behave properly yet manage to remain a true dinosaur. Randall EnosCopyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

How Do Dinosaurs Count To Ten?
How Do Dinosaurs Count To Ten?

Book DescriptionCome along for some BIG fun as your favorite dinosaurs delight young readers with their playful antics. How do dinosaurs count to ten? Over and over and over again!This brand new board book format brings the gigantic humor of bestselling, award-winning team Jane Yolen and Mark Teague to the youngest readers, helping them learn to count from one to ten with a simple, rhyming text and laugh-out-loud illustrations! A perfect companion book to the other HOW DO DINOSAURS tales, and a great baby gift as well.

¿Cómo juegan los dinosaurios con sus amigos? (Spanish Edition)
¿Cómo juegan los dinosaurios con sus amigos? (Spanish Edition)

Book DescriptionWhat if a dinosaur's friends come to play? Does he mope, does he pout if he can't get his way? Does he hide all his dump trucks, refusing to share? Does he throw his friends' coloring books up in the air? Time and time again, children are told to "play nice." This brilliantly illustrated board book is packed with rhymes that will teach children how. Mark Teague's laugh-aloud illustrations, along with Jane Yolen's playful text, will show children that "playing nice" can be easy and fun. Perfect for parents to read aloud with their children, this book is as humorous as it is instructive.

How Do Dinosaurs Board Book 2pac (How Do Dinosaurs)
How Do Dinosaurs Board Book 2pac (How Do Dinosaurs)

Product DescriptionTwo great Jane Yolen board books: How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms? How Do Dinosaurs Count To Ten?

Baby Bear's Big Dreams
Baby Bear's Big Dreams

From School Library JournalPreSchool-Grade 1—"When I grow up in about a year" begins this tale of a cub's plans for adulthood. His ambitious ideas include having three friends move in with him so they can stay up late and play nonstop because he thinks that's one of the perks of being a big bear. Living in a toy store, building a tree house, camping, and exploring are also a part of his plans for the future. His earnest ideas always include friends or family with whom he can share his toys, his honey, and his explorations. The ultimate plan is to return home so that his parents can tuck him into bed and give him kisses, "one and two…/for that's what BIG bears always do." This third Baby Bear book by this duo is illustrated in the same bright, sunny hues as the others. The large mixed-media and collage pictures and the rhyming couplets make this title a treat for storytime or for sharing one-on-one.—Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WICopyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Other great books that you will want to read or by by Jane Yolen

Encounter (Voyager Books)
Encounter (Voyager Books)

From Publishers WeeklyPW's starred review described this "stirring" book as a look at the dark underside of Christopher Columbus's adventure. "The message is blunt but the language in which it is couched is vintage Yolen, lyrical and impassioned. Shannon's visionary style is an ideal complement." Also available in a Spanish-language edition, Encuentro ($6, -201342-3). Ages 6-12.Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.From School Library JournalGrade 2 - 5-- Readers weary of materials celebrating Columbus and his voyages will be refreshed and intrigued by this thought-provoking picture book. The imaginative story examines the first meeting between Columbus and the indigenous peoples of San Salvador (the Taino) through the eyes of a young native boy. The unnamed narrator has been warned in an ominous dream that the strangers may bring trouble to his people. His concerns are ignored, however, and the Taino greet their guests with customary feasting and gifts, only to be repaid by the abduction of several of their young people. Taken among the captives, the boy escapes and slowly makes his way home, trying to convince others along the way that the Spanish pose a threat, but to no avail. Yolen acknowledges in an author's note that no record of the Tainos' reaction to Columbus's arrival is available; this account is instead an evocative imagining of how things might have been. The haunting story is perfectly complemented by Shannon's powerful acrylic paintings. He mentions that, in fact, the Taino did not wear clothing, but feels that his decision to clothe them does not interfere with the plausibility or effectiveness of his presentation. A book that offers readers an alternative perspective on a well-known and much-celebrated historical event. --Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of PittsburghCopyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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Hello folks,

I enjoyed putting this lens together for several reasons. First of all I am a great Jane Yolen fan, and second I consider many of her books to take second place to none in the children's book realm. Please feel free to leave me a comment about this lens, this book or its author.



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    • profile image

      Angel 3 years ago

      Erin,This image is stunning. Love how pefrect that light shines between them and the adorable pregnant belly. So wish I had one like this when I was pregnant!!! Love it!

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      Teacher Adez7 6 years ago

      @GypsyLyric LM: Hi GypsyLyric,Thank you for the comment, and your nephew will just love this book! I read it in my class room every year, and the children just love it.

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      GypsyLyric LM 6 years ago

      I really feel I must get this for my nephew now! Thanks!!

    • markettrol profile image

      markettrol 6 years ago

      Great dino's

    • franstan lm profile image

      franstan lm 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens. I love Jane Yolen books

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      sarita 8 years ago from Hisar

      It was a real here..

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      RuntFarmSeries 8 years ago

      Nice lens! You've put together a wonderful collection of resources and information here. It'd be great if you'd stop by my lens and say hi when you get the chance.

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      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Blessings to YOU my dear! Squid Angel blessed today.

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      Sojourn 8 years ago

      What a great resource for parents of young readers. We're always on the lookout for new books. Nice job!

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      Linda Hoxie 8 years ago from Idaho

      adez7, Great lens, will have to remember this book if I ever have grandchildren! Thank you! Linda

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      tandemonimom lm 9 years ago

      Great lens, great review, great book! Welcome to recently revamped and under new management Homeschooling Group!

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      religions7 9 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

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      Kiwisoutback 9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Cute looking book. I like what you've done with the lens layout, looks very different. Excellent work.

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      dannystaple 9 years ago

      What a fun sounding book. I hope I will remember it when the time is at hand...

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      Mihaela Vrban 9 years ago from Croatia

      Wonderful lens! Lensrolling to my 3 lenses with toys for kids birthday by age 1 - 3!

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      BeautySecrets 9 years ago

      Your review has inspired me to get it for my grandson. I'll also share your lens with my friends so that they can enjoy it. Thanks for doing a great job Donna.

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      julieannbrady 9 years ago

      Ah, soon I may be buying such a book! What an amazing lens you have crafted -- the layout is really cool for spotlighting a book. Lots of great resourceful content too! 5*****

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      Tony Payne 9 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Very nice. Just when you think that's it about the book - it is - but there are a host of other great books to follow. Great reads for kids. 5***** I love the layout - it could be boring - but you made it look great.

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      triathlontraini1 9 years ago

      Very fun lens! 5*

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      anonymous 10 years ago

      hi adez7,i really liked your lens. you have given quite good information regarding Jane Yolen and her work How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night. The information that you have given about the book is really very interesting. i have also created a lens-lord of the rings audio books

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      Evelyn Saenz 10 years ago from Royalton

      For such a great lens I’m sending you virtual Star Games and Activities. I can hardly wait to read the rest of your lenses.

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      LABELSTONE 10 years ago

      5-Stars all the way!! A well loved and received book. Please visit my lens about St. Patrick's Day at:

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      Ruth Coffee 10 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      Excellent review! I haven't read it but it sound enchanting.

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      Janet2221 10 years ago

      My kids love this book! Great lens. 5 *'s. :)

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      flaminglacer 10 years ago

      Very comprehensive lens - excellent! Squid Angel blessing

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      Teacher Adez7 10 years ago

      Thanks - Hugs back to you oooooo

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      chloecavanaugh 10 years ago

      Just ordered the paperback version for my grandson. It sounds like something he will love. I think I will too. Especially reading it to him.I sooo love your lenses! *****Chloe


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