Deadly Animals: Ultimate Top Tens

. 9781848987456. ea vol: 80p. glossary. illus. index. photos. TickTock. 2013.
Gr 3–5—After a brief introduction, the mostly captioned text in Deadly Animals jumps right into the debate with the 10 most dangerous dinosaurs, segues into the "Top Ten Lethal Killers" (modern-day critters armed with spines, teeth, and toxins), and closes with the "Top Ten Fierce Predators." As in Michael O'Hearn's "Dinosaur Wars" series (Capstone) and Jinny Johnson's Dino Wars (Abrams, 2005), all contenders are rated as to shape, dangerousness, attack capabilities, lethal power, and normal prey, and the "Deadly Scores Total" positions the featured critter in the roster. From piranhas to coyotes, great white sharks to sea wasps, troodons to T. rex, the pages glow with full-color photos and/or dramatic artwork. Each creature is introduced in a general paragraph, and each "score" is accompanied by a sentence or three of more specific information. Visuals abound with enough fangs, claws, teeth, and tentacles to satisfy most readers, and a glossary will help those unfamiliar with terms like "saliva," "carcass," and "veldt." The book is colorful and browsable. Dixon has created an eye-catching compendium of facts about dinosaurs, the world in which they lived, and the scientists who have recovered their fossils and interpreted those finds, using the Q&A format. The facing pages feature a variety of topics all liberally splashed with colorful artwork, photos, maps, and time lines, with the questions and their answers popping up on signs, movie tickets, and information boxes galore. The questions themselves range from the serious ("What was the world like in the Triassic Period?") to the curious ("Could dinosaurs fly?") to the popular ("When did dinosaurs first appear on the movie screen?"). For dinophiles wanting new tidbits to add to their trivia arsenals, this title offers plenty to chew on and to look at. Perhaps not a first choice for serious researchers, but a helping of grist for the mill. And the toothy cover (T. rex, of course!) is a grabber.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

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