Arnold Lobel was a gifted writer and he was the author of many children’s picture books, but he was also a brilliant illustrator. In the book Dinosaur Time, the skill of his artistic talent is shown throughout each page. The drawings are created with more of a sepia tone although there is color. In some of the pages the dinosaurs leak over into another page making them appear more life-like and more realistic. The example shown below, of a Diplodocus, shows exactly how Lobel created this element of real but unreal characteristic that his dinosaurs have.


The book is written by Peggy Parish and in a review of the book, Mary Wise explains how interesting Lobel’s illustrations are by saying, “for every animal, [the reader] discovers some especially interesting and distinguishing characteristic”. Peggy Parish is a skilled author herself, having written the beloved Amelia Bedelia series that helps teach children, myself included, english as well as relating to Amelia’s adventures throughout each book. Similar to her lessons from Amelia, Parish wrote about each dinosaur so that they teach the readers something new. The dinosaurs can also be learned about through the illustrations because of the accuracy of the dinosaurs and the intricate details in each drawing. The dinosaurs stand out on the page because there is little else surrounding them. The blank backgrounds, besides some trees or land, cause the dinosaurs to attract attention and truly catch the reader’s eye. This can be seen throughout the book, but is shown here in the depiction of an Ornithomimus. Lobel masters the precise yet slightly cartoonish aspect needed for these picture books.


Lobel’s drawings have a fun element that makes this an, “exciting book for a primary-age child who is learning to read,” and this is necessary to motivate young children to learn more about the world as well as reading (Wise). As simple as these drawings may seem, it is often the simplest of drawings and books that allow kids to use their growing imaginations and Lobel helps them grow by this book, Dinosaur Time.


Parish, Peggy. “Dinosaur Time”. New York: Harper & Row, Inc, 1974. Print.

Wise, Mary. Review of Dinosaur Time. The American Biology Teacher 37. University of California Press, National Association of Biology Teachers. 1975. Web.