The Dinosaur's Diary (Young Puffin Story Books)

Illustrated by Debbie Boon



The Dinosaur’s Diary

Julia Donaldson started her career writing songs for children’s television. It was only when one of her songs was made into a book,
A Squash and a Squeeze,
that she turned her hand to story-writing. She has now written over a hundred books and plays for children and teenagers, including
The Gruffalo,
which won the Smarties Prize and a Blue Peter book award. Julia lives in Glasgow with her husband Malcolm and three cats.

To Madeline


I’m so excited! I’m nearly ready to lay my eggs! I had a wander round the swamp, looking for a nice safe place to lay them. That’s hard, when there are so many big, fierce dinosaurs around.

It’s just not fair. The biggest, fiercest dinosaurs get everything their own way. They even have days named after them. Like today – T-Day, named after Tyrannosaurus Rex, the biggest and fiercest dinosaur of all. Why can’t I have a day named after me? Hypsilophodon-Day, it would be. I know that’s rather a mouthful, but it could be Η-Day for short.

The trouble is, I’m
one of the biggest fiercest dinosaurs around. Far from it. I’m nearly the smallest and one of the gentlest. I do hope I’ll manage to look after my babies all right. I just can’t wait to see them!


Tri–Day! I ask you! Why name a day after Triceratops? Just because she’s got three horns and a fancy armour-plated frill round her neck. It’s just not fair – she’s tons bigger than me
she has all this armour to protect her against Τ Rex and the like.

I haven’t even got
horn. All I’ve got are these two little spikes on the thumb of each of my front paws, and they’re not much use.

At least Triceratops doesn’t try to eat me (she only eats plants) but she can be quite a bully. This morning I had just discovered a patch of delicious horsetail plants – my favourite food – when Tri appeared, horns lowered, saying, ‘Beat it, Hypsy-Wypsy.’

It’s a wonder I found anywhere to lay my eggs, but I did! Yes, I’ve laid them – all twenty of them! Green with black spots, like last time. I dug a hole in the mud and laid them in a beautiful spiral pattern. I covered them with bits of horsetail to keep them warm.

Oh, how I hope they’ll all hatch out!


I don’t mind my friend Euphocephalus having a day named after her. She’s another of these armour-plated giants, but she’s not a bully like Triceratops. In fact, she’s a bit of a star, especially today.

There I was, hovering round my new nest, nibbling at some lovely juicy horsetails, when all of a sudden, from out of the tall ferns, a gigantic Τ Rex appeared.

I froze to the spot. Normally I would run – I’m quite a nippy mover – but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to leave the nest and all my beautiful eggs.

Τ Rex was just about to pick me up in his razor-sharp claws, when Euph charged up and gave him a whack in the stomach with the really cool club which she has at the end of her tail. Τ Rex doubled up in agony and lumbered away clutching his stomach – he seemed to have forgotten all about me.

When I thanked Euph she just said, ‘Don’t mention it, old girl – you’d do the same for me.’ The trouble is, I
do the same for her – I’m just too little and all I’ve got to fight with are the silly spikes on my thumbs.

Thank goodness my eggs are all right!


Tragedy has struck. All my eggs have been eaten.

I was guarding the nest when Τ Rex appeared again. This time there was no Euph around to protect me. I forced myself to leave the nest and run for my life. I had to run for miles. It’s a good job I’m so fast on my feet or I would never have got away.

But when I got back to the nest it was surrounded by a gang of Compsognathi, all smacking their jaws and licking their lips, with egg-yolk trickling down their chins.

I hate Comps! They are even smaller than me, yet they have a day named after them. I suppose it’s because they go around in a nasty, fierce gang, hunting for lizards and insects … and dinosaur eggs.

This is just what happened to my last lot of eggs. I am beginning to wonder if I will
have any babies. Life is very hard.

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