Too Many Dinosaurs

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In this adventure-filled, middle-grade mystery, eleven-year-old Aiden and her friends aren't the only ones hot on the trail of gold stashed in the mysterious Ingle Building.

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In this adventure-filled, middle-grade mystery, eleven-year-old Aiden and her friends aren't the only ones hot on the trail of gold stashed in the mysterious Ingle Building.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
You know the story. Boy wants pet; boy can’t have pet; boy magically finds dinosaur; dinosaur wreaks havoc; boy magically makes dinosaur go away. There’s nothing wrong with a familiar premise if an author finds new life in it, and for kids who haven’t seen this sort of thing before (especially those who have outgrown Mayer’s Little Critter), there are several spreads that ought to make them sit up and take notice. Most of these occur after the hero has obtained a “dinosaur horn” that not only summons his runaway triceratops but also all the other—and bigger—dinosaurs that have somehow been lurking unseen in the suburban landscape. On these pages, Mayer employs dramatic framings and exhibits some impressive draftsmanship, giving a scary/comic twist to the term “invasive species.” But most of the book is marked by enervated storytelling (“I had a feeling that my dinosaur had come this way. Then I found him”), too easy solutions (the horn handily makes the dinos vanish, too), and a surprisingly underwritten hero. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—A boy whose mother won't let him get a dog instead buys a dinosaur egg for a dollar at Mr. Jerry's yard sale. A triceratops hatches, sneaks away, and spends the morning causing trouble in the neighborhood, and the boy needs help catching his new pet. Luckily, Mr. Jerry has a dinosaur horn he's willing to lend that should bring the creature back. Unfortunately, it works too well and all manner of dinosaurs appear when it's blown. They follow the panicked boy home where his mother demands that he "Do something." One more blow on the horn and miraculously the dinosaurs begin to fade away and disappear. In the aftermath, the exasperated mother says, "That's it. You're getting a puppy." Mayer's colloquial text and unmistakable illustrative style are both present here. The illustrations are full-page or cutouts surrounded by white space and done in rich colors. The text is placed in and around them to good effect. Plenty of background details spice up the very funny scenes for observant readers, and wild action and chases abound. Kids will love the clever twist at the end, where they see what happened to the dinosaurs.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
Kirkus Reviews

The plot doesn't exactly make sense, but that hardly matters when the pictures show a suburban neighborhood suddenly overrun with humongous dinosaurs.

His mother's steadfast refusal to let him get a dog only breaks down after a lad visits a yard sale to buy first a huge egg that hatches into a rambunctious baby triceratops and then a "dinosaur horn" that brings a towering T. Rex and more dinos thundering out of the trees. In some of his most finished, sharply detailed illustrations ever, Mayer shows casually dressed human figures and massive, exuberant prehistoric ones—all bearing comically exaggerated expressions—chasing one another through yards and down streets until the lad blows his horn again and the surprised-looking dinos fade away. Cut to a final scene in the pet shop, where boy and wriggly puppy bond as Mom takes her abrupt about face with good grace. The first-person narration runs to just a line or so per page, but it might as well not be there at all, so expressive are the illustrations.

Eye candy for dinosaur fans, with piles of yard-sale goods and other junk on hand that will reward closer looks. (Picture book. 4-6)

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
When his mother refuses to get him a puppy, a little boy goes to a yard sale at his neighbor, Mr. Jerry's house and buys a dinosaur egg for $1. Amazingly, the egg cracks open that very evening and a baby triceratops snuggles up into the bed with our narrator. Hoping not to gain his mother's attention, the boy tries to keep the baby dino under wraps, but when it escapes his bedroom and innocently begins to terrorize the neighborhood, our hero has to do something. He returns to the garage sale and makes another $1 buy from Mr. Jerry—a horn that calls dinosaurs. The triceratops returns—but so do a number of other dinosaurs of all sizes. This is an amusing book and definitely what one would expect of Mercer Mayer. The illustrations are vivid and the dinosaurs are extremely accurate in detail. This will be a great book for younger readers, especially those who are interested in dinosaurs...or looking for a creative way to talk a parent into buying a puppy for them.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823423163
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/26/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD290L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mercer Mayer
Mercer Mayer has been writing and illustrating books for children for more than forty years. His most recognized character, the loveable and charismatic Little Critter®, was born in 1975 in the book just for you. Mercer’s Litter Critter has since starred in more than two hundred books, which have sold fifty million copies. Born in Arkansas, Mercer now lives in Connecticut with his family. You can visit Little Critter online at
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 24, 2012

    bold and beautiful

    Mercer Mayer has long been one of my favourite children's authors but in this book he grows up a little. The illustrations are very detailed, colourful and the children look older than what I think about when Mercer Mayer is mentioned. The boy in this book wants a puppy but Mom says 'No!' So he goes off to a yard sale and picks up a dinosaur egg instead. Of course the dinosaur egg hatches and all heck breaks loose. You can never go wrong with anything Mercer Mayer has written and illustrated and Too Many Dinosaurs is no exception to that rule. Enjoyable on every level.

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