You Can't Be a Pterodactyl! (Hardcover)

You Can't Be a Pterodactyl! By James Breakwell, Sophie Corrigan (Illustrator) Cover Image

You Can't Be a Pterodactyl! (Hardcover)


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Popular comedy writer James Breakwell brings us the story of a determined boy with big dreams who remains undeterred by all the naysayers!

Tommy knows exactly what he wants to be when he grows up. But when he announces that he plans to be a pterodactyl, it turns out he’s surrounded by skeptics (because what would he eat? Where would he live? How would he make money?). What’s a kid with a big dream to do? Well first of all, he’s not about to give up. (And he has a lot of good answers!) And fortunately, Tommy also has a wonderfully open-minded dad who helps him find a way to fulfill his goal. Kids will be cheering for Tommy on his road to pterodactyldom in this funny, engaging story, all the way to its clever resolution.
James Breakwell ( is a professional comedy writer and amateur father of four girls. His family humor Twitter account, @XplodingUnicorn, has been featured on media outlets around the world. His previous books include the middle grade novel The Chosen Twelve, the children’s guided journal Prance Like No One’s Watching, and three humorous parenting guides: How to Save Your Child from Ostrich Attacks, Accidental Time Travel, and Anything Else that Might Happen on an Average Tuesday; Only Dead on the Inside: A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse; and Bare Minimum Parenting: The Ultimate Guide to Not Quite Ruining Your Child. He writes a parenting column for the IndyStar, and lives in Indiana.

Sophie Corrigan’s ( previous picture books include Animal BFFs, The (Not) BAD Animals, the Pugtato series, I Love You Like No Otter, Thank Goodness We Both Have Our Soft Sides, Animal Anatomy, Lulu Is a Rhinocerous (by Jason Flom and Allison Flom), and Jingle Smells, Santa Jaws, and Mince Spies (all by Mark Sperring). She spends her spare time going to shows, watching nature programs, eating vegan food, hanging out with her pet cockatiels, and occasionally making cute things from wool and clay. She lives in Lancashire in the United Kingdom.

Product Details ISBN: 9780593110652
ISBN-10: 059311065X
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Publication Date: July 25th, 2023
Pages: 32
Language: English
“Seeing [Tommy] achieve the essence of his dream is just as satisfying as watching his father join in his fantasy while, no doubt, figuring out how Tommy can realistically achieve his ambition. There’s gentle humor as well as warmth in both the text and the appealing digital illustrations. An engaging picture book for reading aloud.” —Booklist

“Kids will cheer the satisfying, makes-perfect-sense ending. This empowering story is all about having seemingly unattainable goals and being lucky enough to have supporters willing to help achieve them. Tommy’s a sweet, realistic, albeit dreamy, character; his dad, a model, caring parent. The colorful, somewhat stylized illustrations are lively and humorous. . . . Affirmation that you can have dreams the size of a prehistoric flying reptile.” Kirkus Reviews

“Colorful and cleverly detailed illustrations move the action along to the happy ending . . . This gentle story will appeal to dinosaur fans with dreams of their own.”School Library Journal

“Corrigan’s bouncy, cartoonlike illustrations feature simply drawn characters, with color and shading providing depth. . . . . Whether it be dino lovers or fans of prehistoric flying reptiles (as Tommy reminds us, pterodactyls are not dinosaurs), this story speaks to anyone who dreams of the seemingly impossible.”The Horn Book