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DINING WITH DINOSAURS by Hannah Bonner Kirkus Star


A Tasty Guide to Mesozoic Munching

by Hannah Bonner ; illustrated by Hannah Bonner

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4263-2339-3
Publisher: National Geographic Kids

From T. rex and like “mega carnivores” down to bacterial “trashivores,” everyone is a guest—and also on the menu—at this paleo-pantry.

With a chatty microraptor on her forearm, the white, bespectacled Bonner (When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched, and Pterosaurs Took Flight, 2012, etc.) squires readers through teeming scenes of dino diners, with pauses for quick Q-and-A’s with paleontologists about fossil evidence, revealing close-ups of teeth and jaw structures, and other informative sidelights. Properly noting that dinosaurs shared their era with reptiles, mammals, and even true birds (plus amphibians like the evocatively named Beelzebufo) who all had appetites too, she presents her subjects in painted collectives by preferred diet. Where the usual “-vore” terminology doesn’t serve, she coins her own to give “sunivores” (aka “plants”), “dinovores” (including humans: Happy Thanksgiving!), and “detritivores” like fungi and earthworms their due. She also hides 18 tiny peanut-butter–and-jelly sandwiches for seek-and-find fun and adds visits to a “grossery store” stocked with carrion and a lush veggie market (“New! Flowering Plants!”). There are plenty of natural views of active but not gory chowing down. Following answers to the cogent if grammatically suspect question “Who Eats Who Today?” comes a full dessert, including a food web in a cake-shaped infographic, a “recipe” for photosynthesis, and a full tray of end matter aperitifs.

Five-star fare for librovores.

(index, timelines, glossary) (Informational picture book. 8-12)