Cover image for Dinosaur dream
Dinosaur dream
Nolan, Dennis.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Macmillan ; London : Collier Macmillan, [1990]

Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 21 x 26 cm
After reading about dinosaurs and then falling asleep, Wilbur sees a baby apatosaurus outside his bedroom and travels backwards through time to return it to its own time period.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.3 0.5 48160.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Little Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



After reading about dinosaurs and then falling asleep, Wilbur sees a baby apatosaurus outside his bedroom and travels backwards through time to return it to its Jurassic time period.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-7. After falling asleep over his favorite dinosaur book, Wilbur is astonished to hear a baby apatosaurus tapping at his window. Clearly the little dinosaur is lost and must be returned to its proper era, so Wilbur sets off on a long walk through four periods of geologic time with the apatosaurus tagging behind him like a puppy. The two friends brave glaciers, volcanoes, saber-tooth cats, and tyrannosaurus rex, finally arriving at the Jurassic period for a joyful apatosaurus reunion. Nolan presents this fantasy in scientific detail and gravely beautiful illustration. Sights, sounds, and animals characteristic of each period are described with vividness and precision. Nolan's paintings are both dreamy and realistic, with richly modulated colors and dramatic perspective. As much fun as it is informative, the book is a dinosaur lover's delight. A time chart is included at the end. ~--Leone McDermott

Publisher's Weekly Review

Talk about the odd couple: this sweetly written, captivating picture book limns the camaraderie between dinosaur enthusiast Wilbur (his red pj's sport a dinosaur silhouette) and Gideon, an escapee from the Jurassic period. When the baby dino comes calling after Wilbur falls asleep, the practical boy realizes the unsuitability of the situation and resolves to lead his visitor home--``Follow me, Gideon. . .we have one hundred forty million years to go through.'' In an appealing twist, the intrepid lad proves more courageous than the dinosaur: one of Nolan's ( Step into the Night ; Mockingbird Morning ) luminous watercolors depicts Wilbur trudging through a new snowfall, as a whining Gideon follows precisely in the cleared track. So deftly does the author build this relationship during their arduous journey that children--and adults as well--may blink back a tear when the two friends finally part. Wilbur is a model hero, without a hint of precocity in manner or appearance, and red-eyed Gideon ranks with the best of animal creations. No bones about it, this is a real charmer. Ages 4-7. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-- There's too much highbrow hype and not enough good storytelling to make this book linger in readers' memories. Wilbur befriends Gideon, a baby dinosaur, in the middle of the night (or--is it only a dream? The trite plot gimmick doesn't help). The two of them travel back through time, exploring the Ice Age and the different eras of reptiles, until Gideon returns to the Jurassic period, where he belongs. Sure, this is a fantasy, so it's conceivable that Wilbur and Gideon could trek through the snows of the Ice Age, visiting woolly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers. But writing fiction doesn't excuse misinformation. Wilbur's statement, ``Soon we'll be out of the Ice Age and into the Age of Mammals,'' seems to exclude tigers and mammoths from Mammalia altogether. The painted illustrations, which at first look very attractive, work best when they stick to realism, such as a bird's-eye view looking down over the head of a Triceratops. But a closeup of Wilbur hugging Gideon, with glowing clouds in the background, is as cloying as sofa-sized painted sunsets. Try Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo (Harper, 1988) by William Joyce for a better-realized story about a dinosaur compadre. --Cathryn A. Camper, Minneapolis Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.