Today is the official publication day for my new children’s picture book The Tyrannosaur’s Feathers. As previously announced on this blog, the book was co-written with Jonathan Emmett, illustrated by Stieven Van der Poorten, and published by UCLan Publishing. We are all so happy with how it has turned out.
Tyrannosaurus rex is the main star of the book, supported by a Velociraptor who has a bone to pick with how Tyrannosaurus looks. Consulting a copy of ‘Dinosaurs: The Latest Evidence‘, Velociraptor suggests several anatomical tweaks to gradually bring Tyrannosaurus up to date with the modern science. Of course, Tyrannosaurus may not be the only dinosaur in need of a make over.
The main message of the book is to emphasise how pop-cultural depictions of T. rex, and dinosaurs in general, are constantly being shaped by new fossil discoveries, and how the appearance of dinosaurs will likely continue to change as palaeontologists dig up more evidence in the future. To this end, many of the depictions of Tyrannosaurus in the book are purposefully inaccurate. The inaccuracies had to be accurate, though! Which is why we were fortunate to have an established palaeoartist illustrate the book. These ‘dodgy’ depictions also mean that I can, without shame, use out-dated Jurassic Park style T. rex models to promote the book!
The publication of The Tyrannosaur’s Feathers is particularly special to me because I’ve dedicated the book to my best friend, Wang Qi, who died in 2021. He and I worked together intimately on the Dinosaurs of China exhibition at the Nottingham Natural History Museum, Wollaton Hall, in 2017. That paved the way for a T. rex exhibition there in 2021, an exhibition Wang Qi, sadly, never got to see. Wang Qi and I collaborated on many other exciting dinosaur and museum themed projects and became good friends in the process. We were about the same age and it was remarkable how two men raised in different cultures on opposite sides of the globe could have so much in common and get along so well! I miss him a lot. So, this book is a tribute to his memory.
Coincidentally, Wang Qi’s immediate family visited Nottingham last week, so Jonathan and I were lucky enough to meet them at Wollaton Hall and present a copy of The Tyrannosaur’s Feathers to Wang Qi’s daughter, Nuolin. A simultaneously sombre and happy occasion.
The Tyrannosaur’s Feathers has already received early reviews from several specialist children’s book websites and palaeontology blogs. So, visit the following pages to see all the kind things people are saying about the book: Everything Dinosaur, V’s View From The Bookshelves, Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs, Dino Dad Reviews. Below are some snippets compiled by Jonathan, and you can also hear Jonathan and me talking about the book in our recent interview on the Children’s Literature Podcast.
This Sunday 6th August Jonathan and I will be hosting a launch event for The Tyrannosaur’s Feathers at Wollaton Hall. The event will include two public book sessions, which we have developed for schools, libraries and other venues. The launch events are fully booked but we’ll also be selling and signing copies of the book after each event. So, if you want to nab a signed copy please come along. The book signing will take place in the shadow of a replica of the original Titus T. rex skeleton, a new and permanent free fixture at the Nottingham Natural History Museum. So, what better place to launch our book!? Later in August we’ll be taking the same session to ‘Seven Stories’, The National Centre for Children’s Books in Newcastle, and there are still places available for that event if you’re in that region. Also, if you’re interested in booking one of our sessions for your school or library then all the details will be on Jonathan’s website here soon.
The Tyrannosaur’s Feathers is now widely available worldwide and you can also order it from your local independent book store. Here’s a compilation of different online stores where you can buy it.
Rest of the world