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Play the
Dinosuars After Dark
Sliding Puzzle

UK PAPERBACK BACK IN PRINT!

Illustrated by Curtis Jobling

It is the middle of the night
and Bobby is lying lonely and awake
- until he hears the creep of giant feet
and discovers a wonderful secret ...

"A must for young dinosaur fans."

Clare Walters, PRACTICAL PARENTING

"Full of adventure, action, imagination and excitement
coupled with outstanding colourful illustrations"

Susan Naylor, AMAZON.CO.UK

UK

UK Hardcover • ISBN: 000198375X

UK Paperback • ISBN: 0006647286

UK Mini Paperback • ISBN: 0007224648

 

 

NO LONGER IN PRINT

US Hardcover • ISBN:1597641618

 


This book is also available in a French Hardcover edition entitled
La Nuit des Dinosaurs published by Mango ISBN: 274041322X
Buy the French edition

 





The picture book that made the biggest impression on me as a child was Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. My son, Max, is named after the book's mischievous hero. As well as being brilliantly illustrated, I think it's one of the best picture book texts ever written.

The text is short and deceptively simple, but has a wonderful poetic quality when read aloud. The rhythm of the words is particularly clever - moving in and out of rhyme to emphasise changes in the story's pace and mood or stopping abruptly to make the reader pause and think. I had always wanted to write a story that had a similar simple lyrical feel, but whenever I tried I was always disappointed with the results.

Although it may not match the extraordinary standard set by Sendak’s text, Dinosaurs after Dark was among the first stories I wrote where I felt I that I was finally heading in the right direction. I knew that the basic idea - a little boy discovers that there is a secret gang of dinosaurs living in his city - could make an appealing picture book. Most children, especially boys, are fascinated by dinosaurs and delight in being made part of a secret.

When I first came up with the idea, I imagined that the dinosaurs might simply be romping around in an ordinary playground, but then I realised that the scale would be wrong. I wanted my creatures to be proper, giant, dinosaurs so I would have to find a playground that was more their size. So I moved them into the city centre, which was based on that of my home city, Nottingham. Nottingham has a large market square, flanked by office blocks and, at the time the story was written, lots of tower cranes. There is a big town hall at one end with fountains in front of it and a train station a short walk away.

Harper Collins took the story, and we started thinking about an illustrator. I already had a strong mental picture of how I thought the illustrations should look, inspired by In the Night Kitchen – yet another favourite Sendak book. This book is not as well known as "Where the Wild Things Are" and the illustration style is very different - a lot bolder and less detailed. The "Night Kitchen" of the title is a surreal urban environment where the buildings are made out of giant jam jars and cartons of food. I hoped the illustrations for "Dinosaurs After Dark" would have a similar bold simplicity. To my delight, I found that both the book's editor and designer had made the same association and were both keen to see the book illustrated in a similar style.

Usually an illustrator will start work on a picture book fairly soon after the text has been bought by the publisher, but in the case of "Dinosaurs after Dark", there was a delay of almost a year. The first illustrator that was approached changed her mind before signing the contract. The second declined on the basis that she had done a lot of monster books recently. This was frustrating at the time, but I'm now glad that both illustrators turned down the project. I'm sure that they would have done a good job, but neither of their styles quite matched what I had envisaged for this particular book.

The next illustrator we considered was Curtis Jobling. Curtis had not had a picture book published before, but he was the Art Director and character designer of the very successful "Bob the Builder" children's TV series. As soon as I saw Curtis's artwork samples, I felt that he was the right person for the book. I think that the bold distinctive illustrations that he has produced perfectly compliment the text.

Although I'm proud of all of my books, not all of them are written to suit my own tastes. However "Dinosaurs After Dark" is exactly the sort of book I would have loved when I was a child.

This book is for
Max,
my consultant
palaeontologist

Illustrations © 2001 Curtis Jobling. Reproduced by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., London .



Bobby lies awake and lonely in the middle of the night when he hears the sound of something sneaking past his window. Massive footprints lead him to a whole host of dinosaur friends to play with. Is he dreaming or not? There are bright and amusing illustrations to accompany the text, which alternates between prose and rhyme - plenty of opportunities to join in. Having enjoyed the book three or four times, my small granddaughter wanted to take it home with her.

Janice Knight, CAROUSEL

Pre-school Dino stories have huge appeal and Emmett's offering is no exception ... well-designed, attractive pages where cartoon-like artwork serves to complement the whimsical, rhythmic text. Colorful characters romp through a night-blue landscape, and the stars of the show-the dinosaurs-are highlighted in vibrant double-page illustrations.

Carol L. MacKay, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

An energetic tale, brought to life with bright, stylized color artwork, and especially recommended for beginning readers.

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

A must for young dinosaur fans.

Clare Walters, PRACTICAL PARENTING

Full of adventure, action, imagination and excitement coupled with outstanding colourful illustrations.

Susan Naylor, AMAZON.CO.UK