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IF DOGS WERE DINOSAURS by David M. Schwartz Kirkus Star


by David M. Schwartz, illustrated by James Warhola

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-439-67612-6
Publisher: Scholastic

For his newest exercise in math without tears—unless you count tears of laughter—Schwartz invites readers to imagine how much food a dog the size of a T. rex would eat, how big the Earth would be if the Moon were a marble, how long a tongue would be if taste buds were as big as rose buds and similar ramifications for germs the size of gerbils, hair as thick as spaghetti, kayaks the size of cruise ships, a submarine sandwich as big as a submarine and more. If his comparisons don’t have readers rolling in the aisles, Warhola’s literal visualizations—from a skateboarder zooming down a ramp-like tongue to a humongous mole (as in “molehill”) towering over the Empire State Building, meatballs as big as bowling balls and a chocolate bar with blimp-sized almonds melting messily over a shopping mall—definitely will. And, to prove that it’s not all just free-range imagining, Schwartz closes with actual numbers, step-by-step calculations, notes on iffy assumptions (for instance, a 14,000 pound dog would eat a lot, but not 350 times as much as a 40 pound one) and related problems to solve. Math didn’t used to be this much fun—it’s almost unfair. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)