Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs fascinate children so books about them are a great way to tempt youngsters to read.

 Prehistoric Actual Size
by Steve Jenkins
(Frances Lincoln)
This book, illustrated in collage style, attempts to show on the page what prehistoric animals may have looked like, true to scale. This is easy when it’s a spiny shark only eight centimetres long or a sixty nine centimetre wingspan dragonfly, but squeezing the 14 metre long Giganotosaurus onto a double page spread means there is only room for an array of some of its teeth. The use of triple and quadruple fold-outs give more room for Jenkins’ impressive art work. The Saltopus running across the pages is particularly striking and so is the beak, head and neck of a flying reptile.
There is additional information including a mini representation of each of the creatures, as well as an explanation of how the artist used fossil records and scientific deductions based on their lives and probable habitats to decide what they looked like.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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 Uneversaurus
by Professor Potts
(David Fickling Books)
Professor Potts takes readers through the detective work required to reconstruct dinosaur bones and work out how they may have appeared in the flesh all those millions of years ago. He also tackles the questions for which we still have no certain answers like: ‘What colour were they?’ and ‘What was their world like?’As well as exploring colour in prehistoric times, the book leads us to a realisation of the importance of colour no matter what the era.
An altogether absorbing book whether or not you are a dinosaur addict.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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 If Dinosaurs were Alive Today
by Dougal Dixon
(Tick Tock)
This book cleverly inserts dinosaurs into real photographs – a technique which gives an stunningly clear idea of their size. So a Coelophyisis is scavenging in a dustbin with a fox, a Styracosaurus is head to head with a white rhinoceros and a Ceratosaurus is being attacked by lions. There’s plenty of information to accompany the dramatic illustrations, with fact files on all the species shown as well as plenty of general dinosaur information. A great choice for dinosaur fans of all ages.
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 Discovering Dinosaurs
by Valerie Wilding
(Scholastic)
This book for older readers looks at the two people who first discovered that the mysterious fossils found in quarries belonged to giant reptiles that used to roam the world. Gideon Mantell was a country doctor whose hobby of studying fossils grew to dominate his life while Richard Owen was an amibitious scientist determined to take the glory of discovery for himself. This well-researched book successfully ties their two stories together and gives an insight into how they made their discoveries. Aimed at those interested in the history of science rather than those looking for information about dinosaurs.
Ages 12+
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 World Atlas of Dinosaurs
by Susanna Davidson, Stephanie Turnbull and Rachel Firth
(Usborne)
Don’t be misled by the word ‘atlas’ in the title as this book contains far more than maps. Those that are there show the way the earth changed during the dinosaur era and the distribution of fossils in different countries. The rest of the book is packed with information on the major fossil finds and how scientists have used those discoveries to piece together information on how dinosaurs lived. It’s a fascinating book with plenty of full colour illustrations and is a good choice for able readers of any age who want in-depth information on dinosaurs and fossils.
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T.Rex – the dinosaur with the stupid smile
Iguanadon – the dinosaur with the fat bottom

Stegosaurus – the dinosaur with the spiky spine

by Helen Greathead, illustrated by Mike Spoor
(Scholastic)
As the titles suggest, each of these books looks in detail at one type of dinosaur, including their appearance and lifestyle and how their fossils were discovered. That description sounds rather dry but the books definitely aren’t. They provide a great deal of information in a highly accessible way using a small amount of easily read text imaginatively combined with plenty of line drawings. For instance, the size of the dinosaurs is shown by comparing them with modern day objects and children while T Rex’s teeth are drawn life size. Full of interesting facts, these are a good choice for dinosaur fans who are also reluctant readers as well as those who
are already enthusiastic about books.
Buy T.Rex from Amazon
Buy Iguanadon from Amazon
Buy Stegosaurus from Amazon

 

 

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