JUDGE, Lita. How Big Were Dinosaurs? illus. by author. 40p. further reading. websites. Roaring Brook. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9781596437197. LC 2013001327.
Gr 1-3–From a cowering Microraptor, who “would barely be able to look a chicken in the eye,” to an Argentinosaurus towering over a squirming pile of surprised-looking elephants (17, all told), Judge poses 12 prehistoric creatures with modern people or animals in compelling support of the observation that dinos came in a great range of sizes. In her lively, engaging watercolors, the extinct exemplars also display great ranges of colors and patterns in their feathers or scales, plus distinct dispositions: a quartet of shy Leaellynasaura, for instance, anxiously tries to blend in among a flock of same-sized emperor penguins, while Ankylosaurus, plainly in a bad mood, scowls as it batters whole cars out of its way with its clubbed tail. Along with identification for each dinosaur, the author adds brief but memorable verbal comparisons (Torosaurus “had a 10-foot skull and horns that grew as tall as a first grader”). She closes with a rousing double gatefold group portrait and leads to further print and web resources. Outstanding company for Steve Jenkins’s Prehistoric Actual Size (Houghton Harcourt, 2005), with even more sizable storytime potential.–John Peters, Children’s Literature Consultant, New York City