DINOSAUR HOUSE CONTENT POLICIES AND PHILOSOPHY
Dinosaur House’s Content Philosophy
Inspotainment Over Education
Parents and kids have COMPLETELY different agendas when it comes to content.
Parents want to buy books that will “teach their kids a moral lesson.” (And there’s nothing wrong with that)
Kids want to replace those boring-as-heck books as soon as possible with books that are fun to read.
We do make books that teach stuff, but we are not primarily a children’s educational media company.
We care first about being a quality children’s entertainment company that happens to espouse great values and get kids thinking creatively about their future.
Why is this our number #1 content goal? And why should that make you want to work with us?
Because kids don’t choose to reread books that don’t make them laugh.
We want to make content that affects the trajectory of kids’ lives and deepens the relationship they have with their parents.
But we won’t sacrifice a kid’s number one goal (to be entertained) in order to do that.
Education has nothing on Inspiration
I feel like we poo-poo-ed education a little bit. We love teaching things. We want our books to teach things.
But we encourage our authors to focus more on inspiration and entertainment over education.
Teach a kid about investing money and they know about investing money. Inspire a kid to invest money and they will teach themself everything they need to know to be a great investor. Make the content extremely entertaining and they will re-inspire themself over and over again.
Inspiration beats education (but education is still awesome).
We serve 7-year-olds.
Our main audience are kids right around seven years old (ages four-ten is our true target demographic but 7-year-olds make a great avatar because kids as young as four love books for 7-year-olds and kids as old as ten still do too.)
Everything we create is with the goal of making the book that the KIDS of your audience or customer base will be addicted to.
We want it to be so amazing to them that they ask to read your book constantly.
So we thoroughly put ourselves in the mind of the 7-year-old, and craft the content in such a way that it uses the stuff they are into, steering clear of turning them off or boring them in an effort to please some other interest.
We put potty humor in our books regularly. Because of everything we said about our focus being on what kids actually find entertaining. We can all wish 7-year-olds didn’t think the word “booty” was funny but the reality is that it is. And if part of delivering transformational ideas and connection moments means incepting it between poopy diaper jokes, or getting a parent to say the word “booty” we love to cause laughs about silly words or stinkiness. That being said, try to be careful not to cross the line into what we think is crass. We’re careful to monitor trends in the kids media landscape to help us know where the line is.
We are believers in the idea that parents should parent. Our books are aids in a parent’s journey of parenting their young child. So there are things we’re willing to talk about and things we’re not in an effort to have empathy for parents.
We will not produce content that makes fun of any marginalized groups. We will not make content that puts anyone down on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
We encourage our customers to not use kid’s books as a platform for promoting any politically extreme views. We reserve the right to not produce, publish, or promote anything we think is too extreme.
Sex, sexuality, gender, dating, romantic relationship nuances
Sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity are very divisive but important topics today. As kids are growing up they need the loving support of their parents to navigate who they are and who they are becoming. While we desperately want to create books that foster the love and connection of parents and their kids, Dinosaur House books run a very wide audience range and because we believe that the jury is still out on when is the appropriate age to talk about sexual orientation and gender identity, and it is such a delicate subject to be handled with care, we do not produce elementary age books that cover topics of sexual orientation, sex and gender, gender identity or expression. Because of the delicacy of the topic and our wide audience age range, and our belief that parents should not be surprised by what they read to their kids, we do not include language or imagery designed to spark the conversation even though we believe that it is a meaningful and important one. We support the sparking of that conversation by more qualified people than us, like parents, community leaders, counselors and teachers, close family, and mentors.
The audience of our kids books are predominantly 7-year-olds. The parents of these kids are, at this stage, not likely to be trying to have conversations around sexuality and romance. We want to be sensitive to that and not create stories that revolve around romantic relationships or could potentially trigger a conversation about sex that some parents are surely waiting to have until later than 7. We also want to keep the storylines in the world of the 7-year-old. With few exceptions, they don’t want to picture romance, relationships, and certainly not anything broaching sex and sexuality. We do not believe in making romance, relationships, sex, and sexuality a focal point of kindergarten-3rd grade books.
We believe in educating kids about new cultures and what different religious people’s lives are like. So we are happy to produce books that promote ideas of love and cooperation across all divides. One particular rule we have regarding religion is that we won’t produce a book whose agenda directly violates the beliefs of those working on the book or promote a book to audiences who we know would be offended by its content. The founder of Dinosaur House is himself a devout Christian and much of our audience consists of christian schools. If this situation arises we will work with you to navigate the situation toward a win-win for both your goals and Dinosaur House’s audience.
Parents want books that will help their kids learn valuable lessons
Kids want books that will entertain them.
At Dinosaur House, we write predominantly for pre-K through 3rd grade.
That’s who picture books are targeted at. Before that age, kids read board books and after that, they read middle grade (a totally different genre).
Our focus is the 7-year-old’s reading experience on every page. Are we giving them what they want and not trying to feed them things they don’t want or aren’t ready for.
We have to marry that with the agenda of the parent.
We want to take ideas worth inspiring kids towards.
Put those thoroughly in the world of a kid’s experience.
Make every moment reaction-worthy. They laugh, get scared, get grossed out, etc; and cut as much as possible that doesn’t do that.
Themes we won’t cover:
Sex, sexuality, romance.
Evangelistically religious or anti-religious books that we or our core audience would consider to be offensive.
Fringe or Radical politics.