New Dinosaur Book for Kids


“Why Did T. rex Have Short Arms”, by Melissa Stewart; Illustrated by Julius T. Csotonyi. (Released July 1, 2014) Image: Sterling Children’s Books.

Recently, I illustrated a new book about dinosaurs authored by children’s book writer Melissa Stewart. The book, entitled “Why Did T. rex Have Short Arms?”, was released yesterday by Sterling Children’s Books.

Although it is aimed at children 6 years old and up, the book is intended to be educational, so I strove to paint not cartoonish but realistic looking dinosaurs. (For those who are interested, the tyrannosaurs that appear in the book do have a thin coat of feathers.) There’s even an Acheroraptor on the cover. Therefore, even though the book is aimed at children, it may be of interest to adults who collect paleoart.

Unlike a lot of my previous work, the artwork that I created for this book is not photographic compositing, but digital paintings, which look a lot like acrylic paintings and are accomplished in very much the same way, adding color one brushstroke at a time. I have strived to make use of unusual viewing angles and interesting lighting conditions to depict 13 scenes of dinosaurs in their natural environments. These include a faceoff between Tarbosaurus and a mother Therizinosaurus, a Maiasaura nesting colony, a browsing herd of Argentinosaurus, Anabisetia slipping past the maw of Giganotosaurus, a careless and now muddy-faced Daspletosaurus succumbing to the business end of a Euoplocephalus, and the rapidly approaching plume of the K-Pg impact event at the southern tip of Laramidia.