In picture-book format, a series of comparisons between various dinosaurs and animals (birds and mammals) extant today. This...

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DINOSAUR COUSINS?

In picture-book format, a series of comparisons between various dinosaurs and animals (birds and mammals) extant today. This is an attractive book, its stylized illustrations (bold, black line and an unusual but harmonious palette ranging from mustard to pale violet) cleverly insinuating the parallels between the paired animals: pelican and pteranodan swooping over the sea as they carry food in their large beaks, musk oxen and styracosauruses forming defensive circles. But there is a serious flaw in Most's basic concept. True, observing similarities is an important scientific skill, but the similarities he notes, while sometimes based on the same functional needs (the long necks of giraffe and brachiosaurus reaching high leaves), have nothing to do with the evolution of the various species. It's fine when he says one reminds him of the other. When he asks whether they're cousins and leaves the question hanging, he leaves children with an impression of animal relationships that is at best muddled and, at worst, erroneous. Skip this unless it gets a new text.

Pub Date: March 1, 1987

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1987