Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

You are in:  Holiday Gift Guide | Dinosaurs & Earth Science

Dinosaurs & Earth Science

Uncover everything you ever wanted to know about dinosaurs, fossils and earth science with these books, toys and DVDs.

Earth Stories: Paleontology Vol. #1
Ages: 2 - 6 yrs.
Mazon Productions Inc., $19.95 (VHS)

Join CHIP (a rock hammer) on an animated and live action adventure as he helps you find answers to questions like: what is paleontology?, what are fossils and how do they form? and what tools do scientists use to study the earth and tell it’s story?

The Dino 5
Ages: 2 - 6 yrs.
Baby Loves Everything, $16.98 (CD)   

In this unique offering from hall of fame hip-hop producer Prince Paul, songs are interspersed with narration to tell the story of five young dinosaurs, including a misunderstood T-Rex, who ultimately work out their differences to perform in their school talent show. Narrated by Grammy winning poet Ursula Rucker and featuring special guest appearances by Pos and Dave of De La Soul, the CD features catchy rap-style music with clearly-articulated, easy-to-understand lyrics designed to teach lessons about life and dinosaurs.

How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?
Ages: 2 & Up
Author: Jane Yolen   Illustrator: Mark Teague  
Scholastic Inc./Blue Sky Press, $15.95 (Hard Cover)   

There is something intrinsically droll about these lumbering lummoxes ambling about, leaving a trail of crumpled tissues behind them. In due time even the youngest listener will begin to see similarities between the two species when they are under the weather: spitting pills in the sink; hiding from the doctor, etc. In the end, sanity prevails, and sleep, juice and tender-loving care bring peace and health to all.

Also Try: How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

Prehistoric Actual Size Prehistoric Actual Size
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Steve Jenkins   Illustrator: Steve Jenkins  
Houghton Mifflin Children's Books, $16.00 (Hard Cover)   

What is it like to come face-to-face with the ten-foot-tall terror bird? Or stare into the mouth of the largest meat eater ever to walk the earth? Can you imagine a millipede that is more than six feet long, or a dinosaur smaller than a chicken? In this "actual size" look at the prehistoric world, which includes two dramatic gatefolds, you"ll meet these awe-inspiring creatures, as well as many others. Book Description

Ages: 4 - 15 yrs.
Artisan Home Entertainment, $19.98 (DVD)   

Based on the popular picture books by James Gurney, Dinotopia is an enchanting viewing experience. The plot revolves around two teen half-brothers, Karl (Tyron Leitso) and David (Wentworth Miller), who are marooned on Dinotopia when the plane piloted by their father crashes. From there, the boys try to find a way off the island while becoming entrenched in the Dintopian way of life.

Dinosaur Holiday Dinosaur Holiday
Ages: 4 & Up
Museum Music, $15.95 (CD)   

Masterminded by the American Museum of Natural History, here is a wholly unique and deliciously enjoyable concept album. Here's the assignment: Take twelve well-known holiday songs from Classical, Christian, Jewish and Kwanza celebrations, and create all new lyrics to teach children about dinosaurs. Bring in exceptional musical talent and first-rate production values and the Broadway star voices of Maureen McGovern, Brad Oscar, Victoria Clark (and many others). The result? A recording that will have listeners roaring with laughter.

The Great Dinosaur Mystery: A Musical Fossil Fantasy From Dinorock
Ages: 5 - 9 yrs.
Performed By: DinoRock  
Rounder Records Corporation, $15.98 (CD)    $10.98 (Cassette)

Join singing paleontologist Dr. Vander PlasterCaster (Michele Valeri), Detective Joe Kafootsie (Joe Pipik), who’s working the "strange phenomenon detail," and a bunch of captivating young kids as they try to solve the mystery of museum dinosaur exhibits that come to life—then disappear. Along the way, listeners are treated to some unusually creative, tongue-twisting, but still singable songs about the dinosaurs in question.

Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs
Ages: 5 & Up
Author: Robert Sabuda   Illustrator: Matthew Reinhart  
Candlewick Press, $26.99 (Hard Cover)   

From the huge yet intricate Tyrannosaurus skeleton that begins this voyage through paleontology to the Archaeopteryx that flies off its pages, each is a mechanical marvel. And that's still only part of the content. Attached to each two-page scene are as many as four mini books where facts are generously provided. In this non-fiction combination of art and science, Sabuda and Reinhart enchant readers with the presentation of scientific anecdotes, and how paleontologists' thinking, along with their tools, have changed over time. Sabuda and Reinhart's collaboration demonstrates the height of contemporary pop-up book art.

Old Dinosaur Old Dinosaur
Ages: 5 & Up
Birdcage Press, $15.95

Discover the world of dinosaurs as you play three favorite card games: "Old Maid," "Go Fish," and "Concentration." Includes 47 playing cards and a dinosaur guide in a fun tin box. Product Description

Drawing Power! with Michael Moodoo: Ultimate Dinosaur Drawing Drawing Power! with Michael Moodoo: Ultimate Dinosaur Drawing
Ages: 6 - 12 yrs.
Moodoo Productions, Inc., $19.99 (DVD)   

The homespun set, quirky costume and warm unassuming manner of artist Michael Moodoo (Michael Dowell), a professional animator and elementary school art teacher, show viewers how to use simple shapes to draw a variety of dinosaurs including: T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus and more. Dowell imparts his useful drawing techniques with calm, pleasant and unhurried pacing.

Extreme Dinosaurs
Ages: 7 - 10 yrs.
By: Luis Rey  
Chronicle Books, $16.95 (Hard Cover)   

With a marvelous mixture of cutting edge facts and theories and engrossing illustrations, the author is right on target for young dinosaur aficionados. The fantastic paintings seem to emanate from pure imagination, but Rey has included the research background for every detail. Each section highlights discoveries from different continents. A glossary, timeline and index are included. The dinosaur-bird link has never been so convincingly mounted on this age level. Children will be captivated and inspired.

Dinosaurs & Fossils Dinosaurs & Fossils
Ages: 8 & Up
Thames & Kosmos, $29.95

This science kit is comprehensive, engaging, and most importantly, it demonstrates a respect for science. Dinosaurs and Fossils includes a 32-page book of facts, materials to complete six model-building activities, and a genuine fossilized sharks tooth. The book provides extensive chemical safety information (although the only "chemical" used is plaster of Paris), and stresses the importance of learning scientific terminology to ensure uniformity in understanding. In addition to the age-appropriate technical information about the study of dinosaurs, the book profiles more than 25 prehistoric creatures.

Uncover a T-Rex Uncover a T-Rex
Ages: 8 & Up
Author: Dennis Schatz   Illustrator: Christian Kitzmueller   Illustrator: Davide Bonadonna  
Advantage Publisher's Group/Silver Dolphin Books, $18.95 (Hard Cover)   

Uncover a T. Rex examines the structure and fossilized bones of the most powerful meat-eating animal to ever live on land. Learn about scientists' theories and observation, discover where T. Rex fossils were found in the U.S., if they were hunters or scavengers, and how fast this enormous animal could run - all through a unique 3-dimensional layering system that allows readers to actually "uncover" the answers. Book Description

Voyages Through Time: In the Beginning
Ages: 8 & Up
Author: Peter Ackroyd  
Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc., $19.99 (Paperback)

Voyages Through Time: The Beginning traces the story of life on Earth from its cosmic origins to the birth of our Universe. Covering all aspects of the new heavens and a new Earth, the text sparkles, bringing the Hadean Age, the Precambrian world, the Jurassic period, and more to life. Book Description

Dig Dig
Ages: 9 - 14 yrs.
ePals Media,

Dig is an exciting resource for pre-high school students wishing to unearth secrets from past civilizations and dig deeply into the fields of archaeology, paleontology and earth sciences. Subjects include dinosaur skeletons, ancient tombs, shipwrecks, long-lost cities, mummies, and more.

World Atlas of Dinosaurs - Internet Linked
Ages: 10 - 16 yrs.
Author: Stephanie Turnbull   Illustrator: Luis Rey  
EDC Publishing, $22.95 (Hard Cover)   

The website links lead eager learners to more information, pictures, photographs and videoclips. Readers are able to see a dig, read about the locations of dinosaurs in Europe and download a drawing of a dinosaur that catches an interest. Although a computer is not required to make solid use of the book's listings of all 900 dinosaurs and basic facts about each, taking advantage of the information and activities available online tremendously expands the effectiveness.

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages
Ages: 12 & Up
Author: Thomas R. Holtz   Illustrator: Luis Rey  
Random House Books for Young Readers, $34.99 (Hard Cover)   

Written by a professional paleontologist specifically for young readers, this guide to the Dinosauria is packed with enough detail and insider information to satisfy even die-hard dinophiles! The text includes brief entries on all 800+ "named" species of Mesozoic dinosaurs, as well as chapters on the history of dinosaur discoveries, the science of dinosaur art, dinosaur biology, and much more. This is a must-have compendium of fact and fandom that dino enthusiasts of all ages will devour with glee!

Share This

Stocking Stuffers

Portable Picks for Traveling with Kids

Award-Winning Products for Learning & Fun

Sign Up
Our news & features delivered to your inbox.