Another prehistoric predicament from the creators of Ankylosaur Attack (2011) and Pterosaur Trouble (2013), with similarly nongory but otherwise photorealistic illustrations.
Gliding sinuously through shallow, sunlit waters crowded with tentacled ammonites and early fish, a young Cryptoclidus follows her mother and the rest of the plesiosaur pod. They feed peacefully on squidlike belemnites—until, distracted by a reef’s nooks and crannies, the saurian protagonist becomes separated and attracts the attention of hungry Liopleurodon, a much larger, predatory relative. Depicted from angles that show off their cetacean bulk, long-necked grace and crocodilian dentifrice to thrilling effect, both marine reptiles cut convincingly lifelike figures as they torpedo through equally realistic oceanscapes. Cryptoclidus makes an escape at last with a frantic leap over the reef’s jutting rocks and is reunited with her parent: “It was a big, wild, dangerous ocean, but they would swim it together. As a family.” Loxton stirs current theories about plesiosaur behavior and physiology into his melodramatic episode, expanding on them in an informative afterword.
Go, Cryptoclidus! (Picture book. 6-9)