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The Story Behind the Story of How to Dress a Dinosaur & Cover Reveal

by Robin Currie

How to Dress a Dinosaur

Written by Robin Currie

Art by Alicia Pace

Familius, March 2022

Super thanks to Lynne Marie for letting me tell my “story behind the story” of my board How to Dress a Dinosaur (illustrated by Alycia Pace, Familus, March 2022). The cover is ready to share!

Sometimes publishing a book is tougher than dressing a dinosaur!

Dinosaurs! Somewhere between the Construction Equipment Phase and the Superhero Phase, there is a period of childhood fascination with these gigantic prehistoric creatures. One theory is that small children, feeling powerless, imagine themselves as awe inspiring predators with gigantic teeth!

The original inspiration for this story was in fall of 2014, when my youngest grandson was 3 years old and had many things on his mind to do with dinosaurs but few with getting dressed. James was in the dino phase all little boys seem to go through where he can’t pronounce “broccoli” but can say “Pachycephalosaurus” and correct my mispronunciation. He also owned dino themed shirts, hats, socks, jackets, and underwear. And hundreds of plastic painful-to-step-on in-the-dark dino figures.

So how about a book that empowers the child to feel the capabilities of the dino channeled toward the mundane task of getting ready for the day?

It was a brain burble became first a badly rhyming text – what rhymes with Diplodocus? (Hopped aboard a bus? Was oozing green pus? Superfu-i-us?) and then a lift-the-flap board book in 2015. (Do NOT lift the tail feathers!)

By 2016 I had dropped both those strategies and shared “Dressing a Dinosaur” 12-page board book with my critique group. Who found things to suggest in the 199-word manuscript – and that is why I appreciate them!

A year of tweaking, renaming to How to Dress a Dinosaur and trimming to 181 words. They reviewed it in again in 2017 and thought Dino was ready to roar.

In February 2019 I sent this manuscript to Rate Your Story, and it received #2! Those are rare for me, so I felt empowered to send it to my agent, Cyle Young of C.Y.L.E, which required a full proposal with marketing ideas, sales of earlier work, and comp titles – far more than 181 words! Luckily in the meantime no one else thought of this and wrote it!

Familus paired the story with the perfect illustrator, Alycia Pace. Still raising her family, she captured the child stubbornness and mom patience perfectly!

So, if dressing a dinosaur is fun, what next? Going to bed? Dinner time? Wearing a mask? Stay tuned!

About the Author

Award winning author Robin Currie led children’s departments of Midwestern public libraries before being called to ordained ministry. She has a special love for children’s literacy and storytelling. She serves in Chicago area parishes and volunteers internationally teaching English in developing countries.

Robin has published seven library resource collections of creative ideas for library story times, and more than 30 storybooks for children.

Most recent Works:

Tuktuk: Tundra Tale. Arbordale Publishing, 2016. (English, Spanish, German)

Kansas NEA Reading Circle Catalog Selection 2017.

The Very Best Story Ever Told: the Gospel with American Sign Language. Beaming Books, 2018.

WINNER: 2020 Serious Writer's Book of the Decade

Focus on Family Top 10 Family Friendly Picture Books 2019

First Place, Wright Medal, North Carolina Christian Writers Conference, 2019

Finalist: 2019 Selah Award



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