Perfect prezzie alert: At some point (usually during the Late Toddler/Early Preschool Era), most kids go through a fascination with the creatures of the Mesozoic Era, otherwise known as dinosaurs. If you have a toddler who adores all things Large, Scaly, and Extinct, you’ve got to check out this set of board books that bring dinosaurs back to teach kiddos a thing or two.

These four bright and colorful board books feature a wide range of rainbow-hued dinosaurs covering everything from the alphabet to numbers. Sure, their colors may not be historically accurate, but it makes for great visuals as you flip the sturdy pages and read the text.

It’s pretty clear from the titles what the main topic of each book is: Alphasaurus features an entire alphabet of dinos; Countasaurus will have kids counting from 1-10 (and 50!); Shapeasaurus is packed with ovals, crescents, star, and triangle shapes; and Colorasaurus is about, well, colors.

Countasaurus board book
Colorsaurus board book
Alphasaurus board book

And while the books focus on colors, counting, the alphabet, and shapes–subjects definitely aimed at little ones–don’t be fooled. This is not a beginner-reader, sing-songy rhyming book. These dinosaurs require a little read-aloud assistance from parents or older siblings. Fair warning: those dinosaur names are tough to pronounce, unless you are a paleontologist. But it’s kind of cool for our toddlers to see us working hard to sound out those difficult dinos, right?

I do wish the publisher, Chronicle Books, would offer a gift set with all four titles, since they get pricey if you want to buy them all. If you are looking to just pick up one or two for a gift, I like Shapeasaurus a lot, since it’s the one title that weaves a little story about three baby Tyrannosauruses (Tyrannosaurii?) into the pages. Awwww.

For kids who really want to a ton–or 26–of dinosaurs, then Alphasaurus is your pick. Quaesitorsaurus and Zuniceratops? Yup, you will definitely have to bring your “A” game to storytime. –Christina

You’ll find Shapeasaurus, Countasaurus, Alphasaurus, and Colorasaurus from our affiliate Amazon.