A Passion For Graffiti And Dinosaurs Led Bridgewater Teacher To Pen 1st Children’s Book

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BRIDGEWATER, NJ — Rob Ambrose, an 8th-grade science teacher at Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School and longtime Somerville resident, is taking a creative twist to teaching children about dinosaurs by blending his love of graffiti art in his first book Dino Style.

Dino Style teaches children about dinosaurs using graffiti-styled art and terminology.

While the idea for the book started during the COVID pandemic when he was home doodling. The passion behind it began years before.

From an early age, dinosaurs and street art or graffiti have always fascinated Ambrose.

Growing up in the early 1980s, Ambrose remembers taking the trip to New York City with his parents to visit the Natural History Museum to see the dinosaurs.

“On the drive in I was seeing these crazy paintings all over the place not knowing what is,” said Ambrose of seeing the graffiti. “It was very appealing because they are very colorful and artistic. They jumped out to me.”

His passion for street art followed him throughout life as he doodled in notebooks here and there. As he got older, he even began incorporating it into his lesson plans.

“This isn’t a gimmick, it’s something I truly believe in and am passionate about. I use street art and graffiti to teach my students about science and positive mental attitudes, and to foster their social and emotional well-being,” said Ambrose.

About two years ago he was sketching a dinosaur in his book with a graffiti-style name under it.

“I thought that would be a cool idea for a book,” said Ambrose.

Ambrose’s wife Kate, who is also a teacher at the middle school, agreed and suggested he pen a children’s book.

Ambrose focused on his illustrations first and the rest followed.

Dino Style: Dinosaurs and Graffiti combines detailed descriptions of dinosaurs with colorful graffiti art illustrations.

His book was soon picked up and published by Bunbury’s Books. It officially launched in June garnering a good response. The book was the #1 new release on Amazon for graffiti and street art books, and for a brief time also the #1 new release in Children’s Dinosaur books.

Ambrose is hoping his 36-page text, conveys the same sense of excitement he had as a four-year-old in 1982 walking through a graffiti-covered New York City on the way to see the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History.

Many may hear graffiti and think of vandalism right away, but Ambrose is trying to change that.

“I am trying to take this art form that a bunch of people may have preconceived notions on… I am trying to break that stigma and show that it’s something that could be used in a very positive way,” said Ambrose.

DINOSTYLE: Dinosaurs and Graffiti is available for purchase on Amazon.com. For more information on DINO STYLE: Dinosaurs and Graffiti visit dinostylebook.com or instagram.com/dinostylebook.

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