Mega-Predators of the Past

Peachtree. Oct. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781682631096.
Gr 2-5–Stewart’s book challenges readers to think beyond the dinosaurs when considering the topic of prehistoric mega-predators from land, sea, and air. In an enthusiastic and sometimes teasing tone, she speaks directly to readers, using action and alliteration to give this the pace of a sports highlight reel! Each predator is given a two-page spread, complete with a “Mega-Fact File” (scientific name, size, weight, when and where it was discovered and how long ago it lived) and a box comparing the size of the predator to humans, as well as more modern creature readers may be familiar with. In a fun twist, the humans in the diagrams are often shown cowering or fleeing from the predator being compared. The author is fair and forthcoming when there are questions about how featured mega-predators behaved, using open-ended language rather than absolutes. Gray’s illustrations are bright, realistic, and free of gore despite the sometimes vividly described hunting techniques. Author and illustrator notes give age-appropriate explanations on the research; the back matter also includes sources and suggestions for further reading.
VERDICT An ideal book on an evergreen topic, this is fun, casual reading for those looking to expand their knowledge of prehistoric creatures.

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