An invitation to pick out anachronistic (or downright daffy) details in nine Mesozoic scenes.
Spotting the odd hat or potted plant, roller skates, skis, and other zingers that Solis slips into his moderately crowded cartoon scenes won’t be much of a challenge for most young dinophiles, as there are only five per spread, two of which are virtually pointed out with heavy hints delivered by a pair of human tour guides, and there is a visual key at the end. Perhaps to compensate for setting the bar so low, the author and illustrator repeatedly don’t play fair—designating the rainbow-crested Guaibasaurus specimen bogus, for instance, for the weak reason that “scientists don’t think [its crest] was rainbow colored,” and slipping a chicken and a duck in among such similarly feathered predecessors as Bambiraptor, which is even described as “look[ing] like a purple duck or chicken.” Just to muddy the waters a bit more, each picture also includes an unlikely element that is actually correct (“Omeisaurus had a neck which was four times longer than its body”), and the introductory comments include a claim that “Earth was a scorching hot, dry desert when dinosaurs first appeared,” which is both overly general about our planet’s land masses and ignores the oceans. One of the tour guides presents Asian and the other white.
Thin on both fun and facts. (Picture book. 6-8)