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The Picture Book Buzz

Dino Pajama Party: A Bedtime Book - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

It's always fun when an author tries something new. Today, I get the privilege to offer you all a sneak peek at Laurie Wallmark's newest picture book, releasing on October 19th. She's skipped away from her usual - dead women in STEM biographies, to create a rollicking good time full of pajama-clad dancing dinos.

Dino Pajama Party: A Bedtime Book

Author: Laurie Wallmark

Illustrator: Michael Robertson

Publisher: Running Press Kids (2021)

Ages: 4-8



Rhyming, dinosaurs, dancing, and bedtime.


Join the dinos for a bash before bedtime!

Much like us, dinosaurs love to have fun. Dinosaurs from all around gather together to play instruments, dance, and sing before bedtime. But soon the dinosaurs grow tired and need their rest. This is a book that's sure to have kids following the dinos' lead as they get ready to go to sleep.

Opening Lines:

Dinos rock, and dinos roll.

Dinos stomp, and dinos stroll.

All the dinos on the street

boogie to that funky beat.

What I LOVED about this book:

How can anyone resist that lively, adorable cover? I mean seriously a T-rex with a night cap and a teddy bear dancing with a bunny-slippered Brontosaurus. Michael Robertson's bold, expressive, and fun illustrations beautifully supplement and play along with the tempo of Laurie Wallmark's spot-on rhyming couplets. With some fun and unexpected (though predictable for kids in subsequent reads) vocabulary and rhymes it avoids being sing-songy and is a joy to read.

Text © Laurie Wallmark, 2021. Image © Michael Robertson, 2021.

With such a wonderfully diverse cast of dinosaurs, kids are sure to find their favorite one dancing, singing, or playing instruments. I love Michael's creativity in designing so many unique and cozy looking pjs for all these dinosaurs. As well as some awesome expressions!

Text © Laurie Wallmark, 2021. Image © Michael Robertson, 2021.

In addition to the band name and a prehistoric cello player, making the reader say "Dinos toot" will probably bring a few chuckles for the kids (and maybe adults). As the band plays, the dinos gather from all around and "swing...shake...leap...& quake" until the sun sets and the street lamps glow. Then, Laurie gently shifts to winding down and preparing sleepy & sore-footed dinosaurs (and kids?) for the end of their day - "Dinos yawn, and dinos drag. Dinos droop, and dinos sag."

Text © Laurie Wallmark, 2021. Image © Michael Robertson, 2021.

Even though the mood changes, Michael masterfully continues to provide bold, expressive dinosaurs - even if they're tired and yawning. Perfect to encourage a few yawns from the reader. I love the ending spreads where even the most reluctant, and crafty looking, dinosaurs succumb to lights out. Michael's humor and creativity continues on these two spreads, even as it helps Laurie wind down the reader. Wait to you see where and how the dinos bunk down for the night.

I can see this book becoming a bedtime routine favorite, perhaps with interlude of a dino dance to favorite music, before wrapping sleepy kids in a snuggle and a smile as they drift off to their own dreams. It's a perfect book for kids who love dinosaurs, dancing, and/or fun bedtime stories parents will be happy to read again, and again, and again.


- make some dinosaur puppets ( What would their pajamas look like? Now boogie along with the book, until it's your dinos bedtime.

- play your favorite music. Pretend you are different dinosaurs, how would a T-rex, a Triceratops, or Pteranodon dance to the music?

- what do you like to do when you have sleep-overs? Do you have a favorite game? movie? or snack?

- try playing a fun game of "T-rex ball." Everyone keeps their elbows bent and "locked"/stuck to their side, while they try to catch and throw a ball to each other. Don't move your elbows - even if you drop the ball on the floor!

If you missed it, be sure to check out Monday's interview with Laurie Wallmark (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.


Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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