THIMMESH, Catherine. Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled: How Do We Know What Dinosaurs Really Looked Like? illus. by John Sibbick et al. 64p. chron. diag. glossary. index. notes. photos. reprods. Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-547-99134-4.
Gr 5-7–This is a stellar look at the methods paleoartists employ to bring dinosaurs to life on paper. With a fascinating mix of text, expert quotes, and outstanding artwork, it showcases an aspect of paleontology that kids may not know much about. A lot of books focus on the action at paleontological digs and the reconstruction of what is found in them, but Thimmesh spotlights the gifted individuals who combine their talent with the latest scientific knowledge to layer muscles and flesh onto skeletal remains, adding another intriguing dimension to the study of these ancient creatures. These artistic sleuths pull together clues from plant and rock studies and other sources to create images as thrilling for the youngest dinosaur enthusiasts as they are informative for the most studied researchers. The highlighted paleoartists’ renderings get full-bleed treatment, providing readers with a variety of spectacular interpretations of how dinosaurs appeared when they roamed the planet. Complementing the exceptional illustrations is an engaging, informative text written in a conversational tone. Artist profiles are included. The book is presented in a striking palette of saturated earth tones, completing a terrific package that will draw in browsers and serve report writers while inspiring young artists to consider applying their skills to this enthralling field.–Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR