Dinosaur Rocket: “I just died and went to heaven”


Next month we’re publishing a picture book that I’ve been looking forward to for AGES: Dinosaur Rocket by Penny Dale, the fourth book in Penny’s incredible dinosaur sequence. I’ve written about this book (and the previous ones) before, and I love it SO much: it is a sort of picture book platonic ideal for me. Dinosaurs! And Space! It’s so brilliant.

And one person who I knew would also love the book is Ben Johncock. Ben’s an author who has expressed his admiration for Penny’s books in the past, and has also written a space book of his own (for adults), Burning Blue, which will be published by Picador USA in July next year. This was Ben’s reaction when I sent him the cover for Dinosaur Rocket in September:

So when advance copies of the book arrived in the office a couple of weeks ago, there was one with Ben’s name on it. And I was THRILLED to see his reaction on Twitter:

Nothing escaped Ben’s notice – and it’s the small, perfect details that make this book so special:

I think this speaks for itself:

And of course, it was very gratifying to see someone take the rocket science so seriously (particularly as Penny is INCREDIBLY diligent in her research for every book):

But none of that distracts from the sheer joy of reading about dinosaurs going into SPACE:

And this was, I think, a very fitting note for Ben to end his Twitter review on:

(With just one more note on astronaut etiquette):

And the book had such a profound effect that Ben carried on tweeting about it the next day:

I think this might be one of my favourite reviews for one of our books, ever. Thank you very much, Ben, and thank you, Penny!

Dinosaur Rocket will be out in January and you can pre-order it online now.


No Responses to “Dinosaur Rocket: “I just died and went to heaven””

  • What a lovely surprise to read this today! It’s so great to have such an appreciative reaction from Tom and Ben who really seem to get what I’m trying to do. I’m really chuffed and encouraged, particularly this morning as I happen to be working on a trailer for Dinosaur Rocket!
    I’m not at all an expert, but I love playing about with simple sound and video. I’ve made short trailers for the previous books in the series, and today I’m experimenting with a modelling clay T rex foot and a patch of icing sugar! Bet you can guess why… I won’t say any more now as it may not work, but watch this space!!! And thanks so much Tom and Ben.

  • You would not believe how hard it is for me to keep Dinosaur Rocket away from Tiny JC (Ben’s 2 year old son). But I’ve put my foot down and insisted this beauty be wrapped up for him for Christmas Day. Our day is not complete without at least one (or five) renditions of a Penny Dale Dinosaur book and I’ve got a feeling Dinosaur Rocket is going to trump them all! Tiny JC has them all and adores them. He has memorised the ending on each page and gets quite cross if he isn’t allowed to shout it out on time. Thank you Penny & thank you Nosy Crow – you make story time in the JC house enormous amounts of fun. Mrs Jc x

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