Book Reviews

Review: Dinosaurs Don’t Have Bedtimes! by Timothy Knapman

Dinosaurs bedtime

I was kindly sent a free copy of this book from publisher Walker Books for a review.  It’s a bedtime storybook for young kids, here is my review:

‘Dinosaurs Don’t Have Bedtimes’ is a simple storybook aimed at very young kids.  The story is about Mo, a young boy who is dressed up and thinks himself a dinosaur.  When Mummy tells Mo it’s time for supper, Mo tells her ‘Dinosaurs don’t HAVE suppertimes!’.  When Mummy tells Mo it’s time for a bath, Mo tells her ‘Dinosaurs don’t HAVE bath times!’.  And when Mummy tells Mo it’s time for bed, he tells her ‘Dinosaurs don’t HAVE bedtimes!’

I have mixed feelings about this book.  It is a wonderfully illustrated book with plenty of colours and dinosaur images that children will love.  Whenever Mo explains what dinosaurs don’t do he tells his mum what they will do.  The illustrations go from pictures of Mo (dressed up as a dinosaur) and his mum at home, to images of the little green dinosaur Mo playing and messing about in a dinosaur world.  There aren’t too many words in the book although a few times they rhyme.  The whole book is about Mo refusing to do everything that his mum wants him to do because he’s a dinosaurs and they don’t do those things.


At the end of the story Mo finally falls asleep but still refuses right to the end.  There’s no nice or moral message of any kind.  It’s this that makes me have mixed feelings about this book.  Although there’s nothing wrong with the story showing the brat-like behaviour of Mo, throwing food around, causing a mess, running from the bath, etc., there’s no final message to show kids that this sort of behaviour isn’t alright.  There’s no message that despite all his behaviour he loves his mum, no message that he should tidy up after making a mess, nothing like that at all.  Throughout the story you see very fun images of the dinosaur world and these will really excite kids but at the same time there is an overly exhausted mum and in the end the house is a mess, his room is a mess and the message seems to be that it’s alright for kids to act in a naughty way and they’ll just finally fall asleep at the end.  I’m sure plenty of kids wouldn’t copy such behaviour but it’s not the best message in a children’s book in my opinion.

The illustrations are all very nice, I’m sure plenty of kids will enjoy the dinosaurs and I’m sure many people would like to read this storybook to their kids at bedtime but for me it’s just a shame the story doesn’t have a better ending.


Rating: 3/5

Review published on Goodreads, click here

Author’s website:

Book Description:

From the author of Soon comes a raucous bedtime read-aloud – brimming with dinosaurs! Mum is trying to get her rather lively dino-obsessed child ready for bed, but this little boy won’t go easy . he’s got a dinosaur-themed comeback (and a ROARY action) for everything! Dinosaurs don’t have to eat all their dinner, wash their hair or brush their teeth … so why should he? And as bedtime beckons, the little boy gets more and more lost in his imaginative world. Will mum ever get him to close his eyes? With exuberant, hilarious dinosaur art from shining illustration talent, Nikki Dyson, this is the perfect story for children with wild imaginations (who refuse to go to sleep!).


9 thoughts on “Review: Dinosaurs Don’t Have Bedtimes! by Timothy Knapman

  1. I see what you mean. However, to put another viewpoint forward – many parents are a little tired of the countless children’s books that *do* have a moral, with all the endless preaching and teaching. Perhaps this book is an antidote to all the stories that tell children what is and what isn’t the accepted way to behave. Perhaps this book is meant to be discussed by the reader and the child being read to?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you, I understand what you mean. I didn’t think that books with morals could be so tiresome for parents :o. I don’t know if the book is meant to be discussed with kids though, it’s aimed at 0-5 year olds according to Walker but I suppose I don’t know every viewpoint, my mum doesn’t like it because she feels it has no decent end to it and some other reviewers have loved it and others have worried about their kids copying the behaviour, I suppose it’s everybody’s own opinion at the end of the day? :).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s right. I personally probably wouldn’t buy the book because it does appear to condone the behaviour I find most repulsive in some children 😉 You would have to know the child well to be sure that they would agree with you about the ‘naughty boy’ and the ‘poor mum’! I think all I wanted to say was that many parents would like to find a book for children that was fun/nice etc that didn’t have some lesson or moral to be learnt. I think we are all happy with the unobtrusive codes of behaviour portrayed in children’s books but the almost Victorian preachiness of others is a little hard to bear. I am not objecting to your review either which was fair and thoughtful as ever.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh I understand what you mean. Most of the kids books I read have a nice story and like the book I reviewed some weeks back called ‘Home’ just had a nice story showing that there are lots of types of homes no matter where kids live or how rich the house.
        I will be reviewing a children’s classic soon which has been released and has strong morals in it, I hope you won’t hate that one too much 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m sure I won’t 🙂 I’m not against morals or even strong morals but with many of the children’s books I’ve read the PC message or other lesson has taken precedence over the story-matter and the books aren’t much fun. I do hope you haven’t been disappointed or upset by my comments – I wouldn’t do that for the world! I have strong views about children’s literature which might not conform with the majority of readers.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Of course I’m not upset. I had my own views about this particular book so I have my own strong views on kids books too. 🙂 I think talking about our opinions is the best thing though, had you not spoken up I wouldn’t have seen another viewpoint which is always good to hear. 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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