Dinosaurs! My first ever illustrated book was created when I was in Grade 3 (I think). I loved dinosaurs. I checked out every book on dinosaurs in the school library and the public library, which was a considerable number considering it was 1963. I had dinosaur models that I played with like other kids played with dolls or toy soldiers. I drew dinosaurs everywhere. I dreamed of sailing to an island full of lost dinosaurs, and being hailed as the discoverer. I was as mad for dinosaurs as I was for horses, and let me tell you, that was very mad.
I don’t remember whether there was an assignment for it or I just did it on my own, but I made a little book on typing paper (probably my grandmother’s) with each page about a different dinosaur, with pictures and a little paragraph of information. It might have been eight or ten pages, I’m not sure. I was very conscientious about the names (I was a pompous little stickler about that, and probably annoyed a lot of people) and whatever information I researched from the books I read.
At any rate, I took it to school, the teacher collected it, and I heard no more. A day or so later, I was called down to the principal’s office. I was terrified. I sat in an adult-sized chair in the hushed office and racked my brain for the least speck of guilt, but couldn’t come up with anything. I was mystified. I was shaking in my saddle shoes. At last the secretary ushered me into the principal’s office. He had my book on his desk.
“Did you do this?”
“Yes, sir,” I squeaked.
“No one helped you with it?”
“No sir!” Now my dander was up. What was he suggesting? That I was a liar? That I couldn’t do my own work? How dare he impugn my scientific integrity? Just as I was about to say something that might have resulted in many lines written on a chalkboard in a lonely schoolroom—
“Well, then, young lady, we’re very impressed, and we’d like to have this to put up in a permanent school display. Is that all right?”
I was flabbergasted. Even more, I was profoundly relieved. But…
In those days there were no copy machines. So I didn’t even get a copy, and I should have held out for more than a fleeting bit of fame. Two bits, at least!
Here’s a somewhat less serious take on dinosaurs for Inktober, to the prompt word of “broken”. Note I did put some feathers on the little guys, because it’s now thought that baby Tyrannosaurus Rex (and many other dinosaurs, infant through adult) had downy feather-like growths for warmth.