I don't buy into the "target age range" mindset of contemporary publishing. I wrote Dinotopia fundamentally to amuse myself as a 30-year-old adult who was rediscovering dinosaurs and utopias. I was also a new dad when the idea came to me, so I was aware of the magic that picture books have for young kids. And I was thinking of making the kind of book that I would have enjoyed when I was 10 or 12. At that age I didn't really like very many children's books, but instead loved the old illustrated adventure books by Twain and Stevenson and Verne.
A book should be like a swimming pool, with a shallow end and a deep end. The few "children's" books that I did like when I was young, such as the Winnie the Pooh books or The Little Prince, had layers of meaning that fed me as I got older. I don't see why a book can't have meaning for a person at different stages of their lives.
In fact, I was deeply touched yesterday to receive a letter from a young filmmaker who has carried the book along with him overseas as he has grown from child to adult. He says:
"Dinotopia began as the favorite book of a little boy fascinated by dinosaurs. It later evolved into a personal inspiration for a young man just starting to dream about how he might make his mark on the world. I'm now happy to report that, as I approach my thirties, it has evolved into professional encouragement for how to keep that childhood spark alive while pursuing a creative career....and all the discipline, terror, heartbreak, exhilaration, and wonder that come with it. Thank you for that gift; I hope that some of my work can one day provide just just as much inspiration to even one little child somewhere."----
Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time