Dinosaur Pirates!

  • Dinosaur Pirates!
  • written and illustrated by┬áPenny Dale
  • published by Nosy Crow / Candlewick Press (2017)
  • Roar Score: 4/5

Look, sometimes you want a picture book to impart a deep meaningful message about life. Sometimes you need a picture book to help your kids get through a difficult time. Sometimes you want one that just makes you feel are warm and fuzzy inside.

Other times? You just want a book about dinosaurs. Or pirates. Or both! And that’s where Penny Dale’s appropriately named Dinosaur Pirates! comes in handy.

Really, if you’re looking for a book about dinosaurs wearing eye patches, bandannas, and ratty shorts, look no further.

If you want to see a bunch of dinosaurs hoisting the Jolly Roger or climbing the mast of a ship, I’ve got good news for you.

If the idea of multicolored dinosaurs sorting through gold treasure and piles of booty warms your cockles, then…wow, you have strange tastes. But still, I have just the book.

Dinosaur Pirates! is the latest in a series of dino-themed books from Penny Dale (whose previous books include Dinosaur Zoom!, Dinosaur Rescue!, and Dinosaur Rocket!). From that, I think we can conclude a couple of things: (1) Ms. Dale has found a beautiful niche (anachronisms be damned) that should be welcomed with open arms, and (2) she really likes exclamation points.

Each spread of the book focuses on one specific emotion or state of being (e.g., busy, sleepy, excited, surprised, angry), so you could use the book as a learning opportunity. But come on, don’t do that to your kids. Use those emotions to motivate your own performance during storytime.

Because a book like this demands that you get in character, stomp around the bedroom, and let loose a flurry of roars and “aarghs!”

(Disclosure: Candlewick provided me with a review copy of this book. All opinions remain my own.)

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire, StarWars.com, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.