There’s something truly awe-inspiring about dinosaurs. I put them in the same category as outer space and the deep ocean. There are some things so big that they make us question our place in the universe.
The fact that these giant lizards once roamed the same Earth that we live on feels like the stuff of fantasy. I can only imagine being alive when the first dinosaur fossils were unearthed and scientists realised about what came long before us. It must’ve challenged so many preconceptions about humanity; perhaps only akin to the understanding that the world was not flat or that the Earth orbits the sun.
Of course, the idea of dinosaurs interacting with humans is indeed the stuff of fantasy, but I vividly remember reading Michael Crichton’s ground-breaking ‘Jurassic Park’ novel (shortly before seeing the film) and was gripped by the art of the possible. I suppose the concept of dinos and humans occupying the same time and space somehow lodged deep in the back of my brain back in 1993 (when I should have been studying for my high school exams).
I remember that my sister was so fascinated with dinosaurs she studied geology in university. She and my Mom even went on a real dinosaur dig in Drumheller, Alberta!
Today, it seems, dinosaurs are hard to avoid. There’s been Barney the purple dinosaur for pre-schoolers and a new show called ‘Dino Ranch’ about young cowboys riding dinos. Jurassic Park itself has spurred multiple films and an animated tv show (‘Camp Cretaceous’, it’s really rather good!) and while not technically a dinosaur, Godzilla (who is a kaiju) ruled the box-office recently as he battled King Kong.
One of my favourite outings with my own children was London’s Natural History Museum to see the dinosaur bones (and the animatronic T-Rex at the end of the exhibition!).
These “terrible lizards” capture our collective imagination like no other creature. Young fans of dinosaurs accumulate hundreds of facts, and the amazing thing is that we’re learning more and more all the time.
For animals that lived and flourished so long ago, it’s amazing to think they are now such a big part of our pop culture.
I hope the Dino Knights books will become a beloved series that earns its place in the Patheon of dinosaur pop culture. I wrote the first book to celebrate bravery and responsibility; and the fusion of medieval knights and dangerous dinosaurs feels a combination that will capture the imagination of young readers for years to come.
DINO KNIGHTS by Jeff Norton, illustrated by Jeff Crosby is out now in paperback (£6.99, Scallywag Press)
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Find out more at scallywagpress.com and check out the rest of the Dino Knights blog tour – information on the tour banner below