GIANT DINOSAURS OF THE JURASSIC

The author/illustrator of Feathered Dinosaurs of China (p. 43) looks closer to home, taking young dinophiles back 150 million years and focusing on species discovered in the Rocky Mountains’ Morrison Formation. Considering the lurid choices available to dinosaur fans these days, it’s a rather staid tour; he begins close to ground level with glimpses of frogs, cat-sized herbivores called Othniela, and five-foot-long turtles, then proceeds in stages to 30-ton Apatosaurus, toothy Allosaurus, and finally a humongous, 110-foot-long Diplodocus. Each appears in a similarly angled, middle-distance view, either as part of a detailed scene or as a paler vignette without background vegetation. The text reads like museum commentary—“A group of sauropods, called Camarasaurus, dines on tall bushes and trees in the nearby araucaria wood”—with violent events occasionally described, but not depicted. Most of the extinct critters here are shown posing rather than in action, and, aside from a Stegosaur’s vivid purple and green, the colors are subdued. Readers who just can’t get enough on the topic will snap this up, but it’s one of the banquet’s blander courses. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: July 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-57091-563-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2004

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DINOSAUR BONE WAR

COPE AND MARSH’S FOSSIL FEUD

A straightforward chronological account of the lives, work and conflicts between O.C. Marsh and Edward Cope, pioneers in the newly developed field of paleontology, whose 19th-century feud led to countless discoveries, bitter bickering in scientific journals and destruction of some fossil specimens. The narrative does not dwell on details of their fieldwork; it is the drama of their escalating quarrel that carries the reader along, while the author occasionally adds a reminder that much more might have been accomplished with cooperation. Occasional black-and-white photographs and reproductions of their notes and drawings add interest. This latest entry in the long-standing Landmark history series will especially appeal to middle-grade readers grown beyond their first fascination with dinosaurs and ready to learn more about the scientists who opened up this field, sometimes literally. (index, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-81349-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2006

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DINOSAUR TROUBLE

Replacing his usual stock of farm animals with an older, more primitive cast, King-Smith pits families of Pterodactyls and Apatosaurs against a predatory T. rex. After ignoring the species prejudice of their parents to strike up a friendship, leather-winged newborn Nosy and hulking Banty (short for “Bantamweight,” which she is when compared to her mother and father) come up with a daring plan to drive toothy Hack the Ripper out of the area. Their intellectually pretentious Moms and dimwitted Dads are initially reluctant but eventually agree to pitch in—and it all works out even better than expected. In Bruel’s frequent cartoon scenes and vignettes, the players display a supple solidity as they smile, scowl or look confused according to their assigned roles. The unusual setting and mild suspense of this celebration of interspecies cooperation will draw in recent easy-reader graduates. The addition of multi-syllabic dinosaur names and Latinate vocabulary words add extra appeal. (Fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-59643-324-3

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2008

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