Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.


Alison Allen
There Are Dinosaurs in the Library
A.G. Allen, author
It’s library day and Mrs. Barker would love to take her class for a visit. But it will take some creative thinking and imagination to persuade a distracted student named Alyssa to get with the program. When Mrs. Barker reminds the class there will be dinosaurs in the library, everyone including Alyssa is eager to go. Boy are they surprised (and a little frightened) when the library transforms into a Jurassic playground. There Are Dinosaurs in the Library! is for readers age 4 to 10.
When one student is reluctant to head to the library with her class, Mrs. Barker pulls out all the stops to show Alyssa just how magical and exciting books can really be. Written with an emphasis on dialogue and names of the creatures that spring forth from the books as well as a lively and dynamic digital illustration style, There Are Dinosaurs in the Library! works to engage readers by using every opportunity available to the picture book form. Brimming with wonder and adventure, There Are Dinosaurs in the Library! is sure to delight even the most reluctant readers.

Cordova’s illustrations keep readers intrigued by shrewdly playing with scale and angles, such as a top-down view of Mrs. Barker and Alyssa (to showcase the interior of the book Mrs. Barker is holding), or the off-kilter angle of the scene where Alyssa runs away with the book, dinosaurs all around her. These illustration choices in combination with the playfulness of the text’s placement (larger or smaller, different fonts, also at an angle, etc.) combine for an almost cinematic reading experience, adding to the overall sense of adventure without sacrificing clarity or narrative momentum.

Dedicated dinosaur buffs will appreciate nods to familiar dinosaurs (Stegosaurus, T-Rex, Velociraptor) as well as lesser-known dinosaurs, such as Protoseratops, Microceratus, and Compsognathus. The hijinx and hilarity that ensue from Mrs. Barker’s class’s trip may set unrealistic expectations for reluctant readers’ own library excursions, but the story certainly succeeds in metaphorically representing the wonder and adventure to be found in books, even if no actual reading is seen taking place during the class’s trip. Full of action and heart, this ode to the pleasures of reading may convince reluctant readers to jump in or remind even the most committed readers of the joy to be found in the act of reading.

Takeaway: A class trip to the library turns into a magical adventure.

Comparable Titles: Adam Wallace’s How to Catch a Dinosaur, Ryan T. Higgins’s We Don’t Eat Our Classmates.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A