Dinosaur Books You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

For many children, the interest in dinosaurs extends well beyond their first introductions. Expect this quartet of new titles to be devoured by enthusiasts.

For many children, the interest in dinosaurs reaches well beyond their first introduction to these creatures. This quartet of titles offers those readers something to sink their teeth into.

BRUSATTE, Steve. Days of the Dinosaur: Step into a Spectacular Prehistoric World. illus. by Daniel Chester. 80p. (Science X 10). chart. index. websites. Wide Eyed Editions. Sept. 2016. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781847808455. Gr 2-5–Written by a paleontologist, this book is filled with descriptions of more than 100 prehistoric land, sea, and air dwellers. Readers are invited through a second-person narrative to witness a day in the life of the dinosaurs mentioned. In addition to individual portraits of featured creatures, “Field Notes” on diet and physical “weapons” accompany each of the four epochs mentioned. Sections on the various time period also cover several biomes. The inclusion of more obscure species will make this selection an illuminating experience for those students primarily exposed to late Jurassic- and Cretaceous-era animals (e.g., Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus). The large format and brilliant colors will attract attention, but the facts are the most appealing aspect. The index is essential, given the sheer number of subjects addressed here. The second-person perspective is awkward at times, and warnings about the danger of prehistory fall flat, but ultimately the value outweighs the drawbacks. VERDICT Knowledge and visual allure abound—a great fit for voracious dinosaur readers and class projects.–Deidre Winterhalter, Niles Public Library, IL HAWKINS, Emily. Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures. illus. by Lucy Letherland. 96p. index. maps. Wide Eyed Editions. Dec. 2017. Tr $30. ISBN 9781786030351. Gr 2-5–Arranged geographically over six regions, this title introduces 31 dinosaurs with a combination of facts, narrative, and visual humor. On each large spread, two paragraphs describe the physical features and behaviors of a different dinosaur. In many cases, these are couched within a present-tense narrative about a particular incident, such as a Baryonyx catching a fish, while others stick to more straightforward dinosaur profiles. Although dates are not provided in a couple of instances, these are engaging and informative introductions. Many of the appealing, useful illustrations are captioned. Other contemporary animals are also portrayed, usually with an identifying caption. The drawings depict traits and size accurately, but there’s a whimsical flavor here, too. Observant readers will notice hats, bibs, or scarves on some dinosaurs, along with other intentional anachronisms such as fishing poles or a beach ball. These are subtle enough to make spotting them a fun activity but clearly out of place enough that they won’t be mistaken as historically accurate. Each spread also includes an inset fact box and range map. A full map introduces each region and points out dinosaur locations. A detailed index provides access, even to the species with brief entries. VERDICT A strong option to bolster dinosaur collections.—Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR LLOYD, Christopher. DINOSAURS!: Explorer. illus. by Andy Forshaw. 46p. chron. (What on Earth? Bks.) Apr. 2018. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9780995577053. Gr 4–6–Fascinated by the lives of dinosaurs? Then call yourself Agent Eagle, and accept the mission on the first page of this colorfully illustrated and fact-packed prehistoric adventure. This book tells not only of the evolution of dinosaurs, but also of the evolution of paleontology. It has everything kids would expect from a good dino book (habitat, species, life cycle), and things they'll be pleasantly surprised to find (hypotheses about dinosaur extinction, short biographies of several paleontology rock stars, and suggestions for the best places to find fossils). In the "Dinosaurs Today" chapter, readers will see how modern-day birds have their ancestral roots in theropods (small, bipedal dinosaurs), or test their knowledge with brain teasers and a quiz. A six-foot time line poster detailing all the creatures covered concludes the work. Because of the book's "mission file" format, there are no page numbers, table of contents, or index. However, while readers will learn all sorts of useful information, this one's meant for fun over function. VERDICT An exciting purchase for libraries looking for high-interest nonfiction that covers both dinosaurs and career interests.—Chelsea Woods, New Brunswick Free Public Library, NJ MURRAY, Lily. Dinosaurium: Welcome to the Museum. illus. by Chris Wormell. 112p. (Welcome to the Museum). diag. index. websites. Candlewick/Big Picture. Apr. 2018. Tr $35. ISBN 9780763699000. Gr 4-7–This oversize volume is a dive into the fascinating world of dinosaurs. Presented as though readers are walking through a museum exhibit, there is introductory material that will provide context for the time periods and classification of dinosaurs. Once background knowledge is developed, the author guides readers chronologically, where they learn about a variety of species from a number of different eras. Thorough but accessible information is presented throughout: classification and naming, location, habitat, physical characteristics, and conclusions about behaviors. Replicating the museum feel, there is a key to each plate of images offering more specific information about the beasts pictured. The full-page illustrations by Wormell are impressive and capture the imagination. Although this title lacks some of the flash of similar books, it treats the subject matter with a seriousness dino aficionados will appreciate. VERDICT A solid purchase for collections with the need for more dinosaur content.–Erica Thorsen, Albemarle High School, VA

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