Project Description


Are the Dinosaurs Dead, Dad?

by Julie Middleton
illustrated by Russell Ayto

What were the dinosaurs like when they were alive? Dave and Dad are about to find out!

Dad takes Dave to the museum. As they walk through the dinosaur exhibit, Dave tries to get his father’s attention. Why is this one grinning and why is that one interested in Dave’s lunch? But Dad is too busy telling Dave all there is to know about these amazing creatures to notice that they’ve sprung to life! Dave gets the feeling that Dad has one terribly important fact very, very wrong…

In this deliciously witty story, Middleton brings a fresh twist to a familiar day out that will leave readers laughing out loud. Ayto’s quirky illustrations add surprising details to this fast-paced museum adventure.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-690-1
Publication Date: 3/1/2013
Page Count: 32
Size: 9-1/2″ x 11-1/2″
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
AR Level: 1.4
GRL: J, Gr 1
Lexile: AD220L
Themes: Dinosaurs, Imagination
BISAC 1: JUV002060 JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures
BISAC 3: JUV019000 JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories


“Ayto’s minimalist line drawings deliver laughs…[Middleton] does a fine job of channeling the fears—or fantasies—of young dinosaur fans.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Children will enjoy the small museum warning signs, the droll humor, and most of all the surprise ending… Great for kids who like to tell their parents a thing or two about dinosaurs.” ―Booklist

“A comedic treat… The dialogue between father and son is delightfully conducive to a read-aloud, and Ayto’s artwork adds rich, rib-tickling layers to the book’s humor.… A highly entertaining selection that is sure to be a big hit.” ―School Library Journal

“Young children going through the ‘dinosaur phase’ of enthusiasm for the Mesozoic and its reptiles will get a kick out of Julie Middleton’s ‘Are the Dinosaurs Dead, Dad?’ with comic illustrations by Russell Ayto.” ―The Wall Street Journal

[show_more more=”Read More” less=”Read Less”]

“This is a clever book, with delightfully whimsical illustrations…This is a great way to introduce kids to a few dinosaurs without making it seem like learning.” ―Blue Owl Reviews

“Instead of the usual skeletal dinosaurs, Ayto’s bright illustrations of the dinosaurs’ bodies, give life to the museum experience. Throw in the dinosaurs names on the pedestals and the amusing trip becomes a disguised learning opportunity. Recommended fun for the young reader and a great read aloud for parents.” ―Boys and Literacy

“I couldn’t wait to look the Dinosaur names up on the computer to learn even more about them. Very interesting indeed! The story is fun and information and a lot of imagination in the author’s writings. The illustrations are very funny, unique and creative and depicts the author’s story to a T. Tyrannosaurus that is.” ―It’s About Time MaMaw

“Not only is there a funny story between Dave and Dad, but there is good information about each dinosaur in the book, along with a pronunciation key…Adding more character, each dinosaur is fleshed out with imaginative features, rather than the usual skeletal presentation…When asked, ‘Read it again?’ parents will not mind obliging repeatedly.” ―Kid Lit Reviews

“The book has predictable text that allows the listeners chime in, making this a good pick for dinosaur storytime.” ―Letters, Numbers and Books, oh My!

“A strikingly illustrated, fun learning adventure fit for all ages…one might even coin it edutainment, with a twist (which comes at the end…a BIG surprise!). Little ones will get a kick out of the adventure without things getting too scary, while older readers enjoy the small details (and new facts!) picked up along the way.” ―Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

“This is one of those terrific books that relies upon dramatic irony via the illustrations, because Julie Middleton’s text doesn’t let on to what’s happening. Young readers, however, can certainly see for themselves that toes, tails, and terrible jaws are moving! Artist Russell Ayto’s whimsical images are half the fun, showing us giant-headed monsters balanced on impossibly tiny legs.” ―Teach With Picture Books

“In this deliciously witty story, Middleton brings a fresh twist to a familiar day out that will leave readers laughing out loud. Ayto’s quirky illustrations add surprising details to this fast-paced museum adventure…All of the illustrations throughout the book have Ayto’s characteristic thin arms, long legs, emotion-filled faces and vibrant coloring. Couple this with a fun story about a boy who questions everything and you’ve got a fantastic picture book children and parents will enjoy reading.” ―There’s a Book

“The story is simple, but full of dinosaur facts that kids love. The illustrations really steal the show for me, however. Our dinosaurs are quirky, artsy even, with fun patterns and hilarious features…A fun, colorful book that’d make a quick read-aloud, but also help inspire further exploration. And maybe prompt a few museum trips.” ―A Word’s Worth



Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2014

Irma Simonton and James H. Black Award for the Best Picture Book of the Year (Finalist) ―Bank Street College of Education, 2014

Alabama Camellia Awards (Nominee, Grades K-1) ―Alabama Department of Education, 2014-2015

Charlotte Award (Nominee, Primary) ―New York State Reading Association, 2016

Meet the Author

Julie Middleton writes scripts and stories for children’s television. Are The Dinosaurs Dead, Dad? is her first picture book. She lives in England.

Meet the Illustrator

Russell Ayto has illustrated several picture books, including One More Sheep and Where Teddy Bears Come From. He lives in England.