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When Dinosaurs Came with Everything
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When Dinosaurs Came with Everything

4.1 16
by Elise Broach, David Small (Illustrator)

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Just when a little boy thinks he's going to die of boredom from running errands with his mom, the most remarkable, the most stupendous thing happens. He discovers that on this day, and this day only, stores everywhere are giving away a very special treat with any purchase. No, not the usual


Get a WHAT!?
Free WHAT!?

Just when a little boy thinks he's going to die of boredom from running errands with his mom, the most remarkable, the most stupendous thing happens. He discovers that on this day, and this day only, stores everywhere are giving away a very special treat with any purchase. No, not the usual lollipop or sticker. Something bigger. Much, MUCH bigger. It's a dream come true, except...what exactly do you do with these Jurassic treats? And how do you convince Mom to let you keep them?

Editorial Reviews

Julie Just
A loony idea is expressed perfectly in Small's larger-than-life illustrations.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Broach (Shakespeare's Secret) and Caldecott Medalist Small's (So You Want to Be President?) deadpan delivery of a delectably over-the-top premise makes this tall-format picture book a virtually guaranteed crowd-pleaser. At the bakery with his mother, the freckle-faced narrator spies an odd sign above the doughnut case: "Buy a Dozen Get a Dinosaur." They make the purchase, expecting a toy, but the bakery lady trots out a triceratops. When the boy's flummoxed mother cries, "How are we supposed to get that home?" the proprietor responds with a sardonic smile, "Oh, don't worry, he'll follow you. They always do." After his doctor's appointment, the boy asks for a sticker, but the nurse announces that there are no stickers today, "just dinosaurs," and the receptionist presents him with a stegosaurus. His mother prudently refuses to stop at the shoe store, movie theater and diner, but the boy picks up a pterosaur at the barber shop and uses a doughnut to lure home a hadrosaur ("It wasn't my fault" he disingenuously tells readers). Beleaguered by prehistoric pets, Mom comes up with a brilliant solution. Small fuels his watercolor-and-ink art with just the right dose of hyperbole, comically relaying the boy's elation and the mother's distress at the expanding menagerie. This well-balanced romp packs an outsize helping of humor. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1
In a playful take on the stickers and lollipops that bored kids sweep up at businesses as parents do errands, Broach imagines what would happen if a dinosaur were the giveaway of the day. A boy's increasing delight at the freebies he collects from the bakery, the doctor, and barber contrast with his mother's increasing panic and dismay as the lumbering beasts start to accumulate. When they acquire the fourth behemoth, Mom decides that the errands are done and whisks everyone home. Once there, she finds some unique ways to put the stegosaurus, triceratops, hadrosaur, and pterosaur to good use doing household chores. Small's sketchy, tongue-in-cheek watercolor-and-ink artwork perfectly captures the boy's exuberance, the dinosaurs' mass, and the hubbub that a city full of these reptiles would create. Dinosaur lovers will enjoy seeing their favorite creatures pictured and named, though the book's appeal won't just be for them. Both listeners and independent readers will appreciate the humor in the text, and the book will spark imaginations and discussions on what else might make great giveaways.
—Marge Loch-WoutersCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
What if one day every merchant in town offered up, and indeed, insisted that shoppers take home a live dinosaur (free) with every purchase? That's what happens to a boy and his mother in this sweet, absurd story that unfolds very much like a dream-or a nightmare, depending on the reader's perspective on having a large dinosaur as a pet. In Small's comical, wonderfully expressive watercolor-and-ink drawings, it's easy to identify the mother's reaction to the bonus triceratops (free with a dozen doughnuts); stegosaurus (from the doctor instead of stickers); and pterosaur (from the barber instead of the usual balloon): unmitigated horror, inversely proportionate to her son's delight. The hulking beasts are irresistibly endearing, though, as they wait patiently, doglike, for their new owners outside all the town establishments and ultimately, once at home in the family's backyard, prove their worth as household laborers, cleaning gutters and rescuing far-flung Frisbees. In the end, the boy's friends bring their own newly acquired dinos over to his house for a poolside party-and he knows Mom has truly come around when she calls the baker for more doughnuts. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.50(h) x 0.40(d)
380L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Elise Broach lives with her family in rural Connecticut, where she writes books for children and teens, including When Dinosaurs Came With Everything, Shakespeare’s Secret and Wet Dog!, and serves in town government. Visit Elise at www.elisebroach.com.

David Small is the Caldecott Award–winning illustrator of So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George. He also received Caldecott Honors for The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo. He’s illustrated dozens of other award-winning books, including That Book Woman by Heather Henson and The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, and lives in Michigan with his wife, Sarah Stewart.

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When Dinosaurs Came with Everything 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome! When I was four my Mom read this to me everyday. I definitely recommend this book for dinosaur lovers.
QualityTime_Reading More than 1 year ago
We checked this out from the library, renewed, renewed... Our four year old lamented tonight, "I wish we didn't have to give this back to the library." I realized it would be a great gift for his birthday coming up. This book is a lot of fun, especially for the dinosaur lovers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son could read this all day everyday....we ordered for Christmas, and I know he will love it. We couldn't stop reading it when we picked it out from the library..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every little one who loves dinosaurs dreams of having a friendly pet dinosaur. This book tells the story of his/her dream come true.The presentation of the dinosaur names and the clever illustrations add to the enchanting story.It's a must read --leaves the child and the parent smiling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The librarian read this to a packed story hour of 3 year olds in my town. By the third page, the kids were laughing and so were the parents. My little guy, who loves dinosaurs, was mesmerized. Now I need to buy this for him because he wants to read it all the time! I highly recommend this for those of you with kids who like dinosaurs!
Chrissy_W More than 1 year ago
Did I enjoy this book: When Dinosaurs came with Everything is a really great book! It has a fun and silly story for the kids and enough humor to keep the adults reading the book happy as well. Our favorite part was that the story made us believe that one day we might walk into our favorite grocery store and instead of getting a free cookie, we might get a dinosaur! In fact, this story prompted some science discussion with my three-year-old to ensure that he understood even though dinosaurs are real, they lived a very long time ago (and stores don’t give them away). “But Mum,” he argued, “we have a backyard too . . . they could live there!” The illustrations are a perfect complement to this goofy story, and the dinosaurs are well-crafted (even though they are cartoony). The font placement and sizes added to the effect, making us understand the mother’s disdain for the giant reptiles that were following her home. The ending is cute, and I like that the underlying lesson is that being part of a family means helping out, even if you are a dinosaur! Would I recommend it: This is a great book for a quick, silly read. It would be especially good for any children who REALLY like dinosaurs! I’d say go for it! As reviewed by Sara at Every Free Chance Books. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 2 year old son begs me to read this story to him over and over again! An excellent book for the imagination!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought this book for our daughter who is an elementary school teacher. Great illustrations and funny story. Also, the book shipped quickly and arrived in great condition. Would recommend this book!
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Grandmatimestwo More than 1 year ago
My grandson is 3 years old, and we have a wonderful time reading and rereading this book. He loves to name the dinosaurs and pretends he is going to get some, too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My pre-k son picked-out this book for me to read to his class during dinosaur week. The entire class was captivated! They were so excited and laughed throughout. Since then my 4 year old and 2 year old often ask for it at bedtime and both love it. Silly and clever, it's a fun read aloud book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Errand day is always a long hassle for a young boy who has to accompany his mom. One day, things are shaken up when a visit to the bakery yields doughnuts and a real stegosaurus. Further errands add to the mix and the boy and his mom have the eternal 'mom, can I keep them?' conversations. It is a simple and fun story that ends well for everybody - even the worried mom. My five-year-old daughter and I read this book every night for ll days in a row. The art is whimsical and the young boy's interactions with his mom ring true.