Book Review: Excavate Dinosaurs by Jon Tennant

Excavate Dinosaurs
Written by Jon Tennant
Illustrated by Vladimir Nikolov
Paper Engineering by Charlie Simpson
ISBN 9781612125206
Storey Publishing, LLC

Recommended Age : 7 and Up.


The ultimate gift for dinosaur-loving kids ages 7 and up! With fun text and colorful illustrations, paleontologist Jon Tennant explains the anatomy, habitat, and diet of 12 dinosaurs from the Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Triassic eras and then provides pop-out pieces of their skeletons for kids to assemble into stand-up paper models. However, the pieces are mixed up! Before the puzzles can be completed, kids must apply their new knowledge about the dinosaurs to figure out which pieces go together. Kids will love the challenge of sorting out which bones belong to which dinosaur — just like real paleontologists do!

Our Review -

It is no secret that Aarya LOVES Dinosaurs and his favorite Dinosaur is the Triceratops. He also made up a story about a Superhero Triceratop whose powers include lightening coming out of its 3 horns. So I do not ever pass up an opportunity to get a Dinosaur book! We have a good collection and this non – fiction title is an awesome addition to our collection.

I am a very recent Dino-fan, so I know almost nothing about the Dinosaur time, habitat… nothing at all. This book with its wonderful pictures explains everything you and your child would like to know about Dinosaurs and there time on earth.

Look at the Content Page, and you will know what I am talking about!

What were Dinosaurs?
What are Fossils?
What do Paleontologists do?

Questions like these and much more are explained and discussed with Gorgeous pictures of Dinosaurs! The Fossils pictures feature all the real images from the sites where these fossils were first seen! Loads of information is packed in to these pages and I just absolutely love the format and the pictures. Which kid doesn’t want to be paleontologist? With a field guide featuring 12 awesome Dinosaurs (including Triceratiop!), the author shares a fun way to scientifically identify the fossils and be a paleontologist!

feild guide

The best part of the book is the above field guide for sure! I am sure your kids favorite Dinosaur would make the list which include T-Rex, Stegosaurus and the likes! The guide includes information about the  ‘meaning of there name’, body anatomy, the era they were from, the group they belonged to, there length, the place they were found and there fossils! A 2 page layout has all this info packed with images of the dinosaurs, it is Gorgeous!

But wait that’s not all. What could be better than the field guide? Why? Being a Paleontologist, of course!

Kids will LOVE going on a Dinosaur DIG. The book includes easy to cut, cut-outs of Dinosaur fossils of ALL the 12 Dinos. The little Paleontologists then use the field guide to identify the fossils. This makes me wish I had a physical copy of this book!
What else??? Once you are done identifying all the pieces, you can BUILD YOUR OWN MODEL DINOSAUR!  Yes, there is a step-by step instruction on how to use the fossils to build the model dinosaurs (all 12 of them).

To say that we absolutely loved this book, is an understatement. At 4.5 years, Aarya loved this book and wanted to re-read it with me loads of times. 6+ crowd will be able o read and do the activities on there own (except for cutting in some cases)

My only regret – Not having the physical copy. This book would make an awesome gift for your Dino loving, hoping to be a Paleontologist one day kiddo in your life!

Buy Excavate Dinosaurs in India @

Buy Excavate Dinosaurs in India @

Thanks to for my copy of the eBook for review.

#DiwaliDhamaka – Diwali Advent Calendar

Diwali holidays have begun and it is like schools are off till 2nd Nov! Whoops! that’s a LONG break. But Diwali is a festival we look forward too. Even though, in my heart I would LOVE to say no to crackers this year, I know it will NOT be fair on my son. He only bursts his gun around and I am not going to say no to that, not this time atleast.

So, I took the concept of Christmas Advent Calendars and made this calendar so that Aarya can count the days to Diwali and we will have some pre-planned activity for each day.

We used

- a paper shopping bag ( we get this when we shop for clothes, from some good eco-friendly shops)

- sponges

- colors

- and a crafty boy :)

I cut off the sides and the bottom portion of the cover which gave me 2 rectangle pieces of brown paper. I used the portion where there was no print and well let Aarya go to town with sponging :)

We glued the 2nd sheet of brown paper to this sheet so as to make it sturdy, after it dried. Next I folded up 8 pieces of plain paper so as to make small envoloes (see below). Aarya glued them on to the the background in an order in such a way that they made little pockets.

Next in small sheets I wrote the activities that I hoped we could do together.

Ta- da, our calendar is ready.

I just realized there are no dots on 4. Aarya totally must have forgotten. ( The dots are just bindis I had lying around, I don’t use this size or color). I know this pic is totally unnecessary as it shows our antic almirah, with paint chipped off ( thanks to gazillion moves) and dirty mirrors, but this is the only decent shot I have of him.

Here is the list of activities -

  • - Make Diwali cards
  • - Make Diwali bunting
  • - Paint diyas
  • - Make Rangolis
  • - Read a book ( review coming soon), do an activity.
  • - Make light decorations of some kind
  • - Make sweets
  • - Decorate the house

And bonus – HELP Mom, clean the house :D

Here is an AMAZING list of card making ideas via Artsy Craftsy Mom ( we might share ours as well) :)

15 diwali card making ideas | 15+ Diwali card making ideas   Diwali Dhamaka | India Crafts DIY card Diwali
Shruti @ Artsy Craftsy Mom is hosting a Diwali Dhamaka ( #DiwaliDhamaka) where in many awesome bloggers are sharing there awesome Diwali inspired posts. There are TONS of awesome inspiration out there, go check it out!

Write 31 days: Tip #5

Write 31 days – How NOT to kill the reading habit in kids with Book Recommendations for boys

Tip #1 – Even if the book he selects is a book you do not think has any “value”; do NOT discourage!

Tip#2 -Let them abuse the book

Tip #3 – Do not offer reading instead of screen time.

Tip #4 – Do not Give up on your Children, they need you more than you will ever know.

Tip #5 – Reading is not just for bedtime. Anytime is  good time to read.

Mostly a bedtime scenario in our household would involve me forcing Aarya to get into bed, then getting Anjie ready for bed. In between this Aarya will plonk down with more than 3 books, and I will most probably not get through 1 because of n number of reasons. So, it has helped us immensely to read during the day whenever we felt like, hoping that Anjie doesn’t protes and I am not busy doing some chore.

As a toddler, Aarya won’t sit in one place for me to read. He would be mostly there for a minute before trotting off. In such situations, continuing the read was important, I kept my voice goofy and fun. Also, I would read to his toys, and suddenly he would be interested too :) Letting him choose his books was the next right thing I did. It gave him control and he would sit with me to read the books.

Today’s book pick : If I built a car by Chris Van Dusen

Aarya’s absolute favorite book and a book that I love reading. It has rhyming texts, it gives power to imagination and it has a boy and his Dad AND a dog as the lead… SOLD!

I think every Car Lover should have a copy, this is a keeper!

Buy it on (affliate link – thank you!)