In-depth facts about 13 dinosaurs are interspersed with activities that teach readers about anatomy and how paleontologists understand body structure.
Gearing his text to older dinosaur lovers, McGowan assumes prior knowledge and leaves out many explanatory details, such as a prehistoric timeline, map and definitions of the different types of dinosaurs. But for enthusiasts who can grasp the advanced vocabulary and concepts, this is a great resource for learning more about both dinosaurs and anatomy in general. The 27 activities and experiments illustrate the concepts presented and focus on the featured dinosaurs. By following the well-written directions as well as the picture steps, budding paleontologists will explore how a tail affects balance, discover binocular vision and learn how the two parts of a bone make them both stiff and elastic. While most use common household materials, there are some interesting ones that require supplies such as plaster of Paris and a long length of board. Schmidt’s detailed acrylic illustrations give life to the dinosaurs, and her scientific renderings of bones could have come straight out of an anatomy textbook. The spreads are also interspersed with photos, showing readers real fossil remains.A thinking, active alternative for readers who fall between adult nonfiction and all the rhyming dino fare meant for the younger set. (Nonfiction. 10-14)