He's infatuated with the Tyrannosaurus rex, but that didn't stop Nick TenPas from using other dinosaurs in a six-book series he and one of his teachers are creating.
Sharon Scafe, a paraeducator at Quail Run School, and Nick, a 10-year-old Quail Run student with autism, are collaborating on the books about a dinosaur named Tony and his friends.
Nick came up with the ideas and problems, titles and characters for the series, and Scafe has written it, drawn the illustrations and bound the books.
"I know the facts," said Nick, who will be a fifth-grader in the fall. "I'm the creative one."
The books detail the lives of the dino friends, who travel to a museum and even journey through a meteorite drill.
"We've got all kinds of dinosaurs in there," Scafe said. "Ones I've never even heard of."
They started the project three months ago, and Scafe said she thought they would be done by the end of the school year. Nick originally came up with five titles and ideas for the books, but one day he looked at Scafe and said he was nervous to ask if they could do a sixth. Scafe complied.
Three books have been completed, and they are now working on the illustrations for the fourth book.
Scafe, who took the books home at night to work on them, said they should be done in the next month.
During the school year, the duo had to work on them during Nick's downtime, because Scafe didn't want the books to get in the way of his schoolwork.
Nick knows the characters of the dinosaurs well, and looks over every book after it's finished.
Nick's mother, Lori TenPas, was not surprised to hear her son was working on books about dinosaurs.
"He knows his dinosaurs forwards and backwards," she said.
In fact, Nick knows his dinosaur characters so well he would notice if the drawings were missing any fingers or toes, and if they looked different throughout the series.
"If he sees a mistake, he'll tell me," Scafe said.
Nick said his original plans were to read the books after they were completed, but Scafe said the experience made him more excited to come to school.
"Every morning he'd take that book and flip it to see if there is anything new," she said.