FEATHERED DINOSAURS OF CHINA

For his solo debut, a veteran science illustrator takes dinophiles on a day trip to an early Cretaceous lake in modern China’s Liaoning Province—identifying birds, insects, small mammals, and over a dozen species of the feathered or furred dinosaurs miraculously preserved there in the fossil record. As the text is only a series of hard-to-pronounce Latinate names connected by the barest of narrative threads, and brightly decorated creatures pose stylishly in the paintings, but are evidently able to feed without biting or bloodshed, this isn’t the most riveting treatment of the topic. It is, however, the most extensive and up-to-date for younger readers, so despite its deficiencies—no bibliography or Web list, either—it’s worth considering as a replacement for older surveys. (glossary/index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-57091-561-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2004

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GIGANTIC!

HOW BIG WERE THE DINOSAURS?

O’Brien celebrates 14 prehistoric monsters by presenting each with a modern object or a human, thereby giving readers information about the size of these giants. Dinosaurs, in full-color and full-snarl, dominate the double-page layouts as they frolic and menace an airplane, fire truck, tank, automobile, and assorted people. For every creature, O’Brien provides the name, its meaning, and a brief line of text. Three of the creatures presented are not dinosaurs at all—Quetzalcoatlus, a pterosaur, Phobosuchus, a relative of the crocodiles, and Dinichthys, a bony fish—which the author mentions in the back matter. The illustrations are not drawn to scale, e.g., if Spinosaurus is really 49 feet long, as the text indicates, the car it is shown next to would appear to be 30 feet long. Readers may have to puzzle over a few scenes, but will enjoy browsing through this book, from the dramatic eyeball view of a toothy Tyrannosaurus rex on the cover to the final head-on glare from a Triceratops. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-5738-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1999

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  • SPONSORED PLACEMENT

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

AFTER ALL I'VE DONE

A middle-aged woman sidelined by a horrific accident finds even sharper pains waiting on the other side of her recuperation in this expert nightmare by Hardy, familiar to many readers as Megan Hart, author of All the Secrets We Keep (2017), etc.

Five months ago, while she was on her way to the hospital with an ailing gallbladder, Diana Sparrow’s car hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road. When she awoke, she was minus her gallbladder, two working collarbones (and therefore two functioning arms), and her memory. During a recovery that would’ve been impossible without the constant ministrations of Harriett Richmond, the mother-in-law who’s the real reason Diana married her husband, Jonathan, Diana’s discovered that Jonathan has been cheating on her with her childhood friend Valerie Delagatti. Divorce is out of the question: Diana’s grown used to the pampered lifestyle the prenup she’d signed would snatch away from her. Every day is filled with torments. She slips and falls in a pool of wine on her kitchen floor she’s sure she didn’t spill herself. At the emergency room, her credit card and debit card are declined. She feels that she hates oppressively solicitous Harriett but has no idea why. Her sessions with her psychiatrist fail to heal her rage at her adoptive mother, an addict who abandoned her then returned only to disappear again and die an ugly death. Even worse, her attempts to recover her lost memory lead to an excruciatingly paced series of revelations. Val says Diana asked her to seduce Jonathan. Diana realizes that Cole, a fellow student in her watercolor class, isn’t the stranger she’d thought he was. Where can this maze of deceptions possibly end?

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-470-0

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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REIGN OF THE SEA DRAGONS

Despite occasional gore in the pictures and section headings like “Permian Wipeout” and “The Ichthyosaur Café,” this look at marine reptiles of the Mesozoic Era will have more appeal for serious young proto-paleontologists than fans of violent, bloody action. Taking up Ichthyosaurs, Plesiosaurs and Mosasaurs in turn, Collard describes what the fossil record tells scientists about the probable diets, habits and distinctive physical structures of each type of predator, then closes with speculations about why each became extinct. Along with full-page color portraits to open each chapter, Plant supplies delicately shaded, finely detailed pencil drawings that range from full fossil skeletons to close-ups of toothy heads and, startlingly, a gracefully drifting half-eaten plesiosaur. More detailed, if also more visually sedate, than Caroline Arnold’s Giant Sea Reptiles of the Dinosaur Age (2007), illustrated by Laurie Caple, this look at the animals that sat atop the oceanic food chain for tens of millions of years makes a solid addition to the dino-shelves. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: July 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-58089-124-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2008

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