Dozens of dinosaurs and their contemporary cousins pose picturesquely in this expansive introduction for budding dinophiles.
Formatted for durability on large cardstock leaves with rounded corners, each prehistoric scene features a throng of variously sized creatures—nearly all depicted in full body portraits—with labels and informative comments interspersed. In his virtually gore-free cartoon illustrations, Cosgrove tends to endow dinos with smiles and googly eyes, but the colorful figures are otherwise realistically shaped and equipped (the predators, anyway) with properly serrated dentifrices. Along with carefully noting which creatures are not true dinosaurs, Frith points out significant anatomical features (“Concavenators had big humps on their backs. Some could grow long feathers on their arms, too, for extra showing off”), explains scenarios, and on one memorable page translates the names of seven T. Rex relatives such as “Tarbasaurus (Alarming dinosaur)” and “Teratophoneus (Murderous monster).” The spreads are topical rather than chronological, so dinos of different eras mix, but a closing timeline that leaves modern birds looking back quizzically at 180 million years of ancestors offers a sequential overview.
A populous but not overcrowded gallery, with opportunities aplenty to practice those polysyllabic monikers. (Informational picture book. 4-7)