Using Whimsy to Teach About Dinosaurs

See Science Center answers some of your biggest questions

You might say it’s a light treatment of a heavy topic. With illustrations by cartoonist Peter Noonan (a regular contributor for this magazine) and questions and answers prepared by Adele Maurier of Manchester’s See Science Center, “We Thought You’d Never Ask” is certainly never boring.   

Ever wonder if dinosaurs had to maintain their lawns or buy their wives bouquets on special occasions?

Well, so maybe you didn’t, but the book uses such odd propositions as starting points for some fascinating explorations of life in the period that extends from the Triassic through the Cretaceous eras. The resulting rapport between fact and fantasy is just the kind of thing that kids can sink their imaginary velociraptor fangs into and it makes for some memorable learning experiences for adults as well.

The concept was conceived by Maurier, a long-time instructor at the See Science Center, after leading countless tours of visiting dinosaur exhibits. Listening to comments that youngsters tend to make inspired her to blend the whimsical with the scholarly and meet their imaginations on both fronts.

Good thing someone with whimsy to spare was there to assist. Artist/cartoonist Noonan offers the perfect touch of anthropomorphization (look it up) to the giant lizards of prehistory — and to the smaller ones too. Did you know some “microraptors” were the size of a chicken? Pick up a copy of this charming book at the See Science Center gift shop ($18) or online ($25 at, includes shipping) and all your questions will be answered.


Categories: Book Reviews