A highly accessible entry in the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series that takes a look at baby dinosaurs, primarily maiasaurs and oviraptors.
Zoehfeld (How Mountains are Made, 1995, etc.) explains how the current information on the peaceful, lizard-like dinosaurs who sipped from streams over 70 million years ago has been extrapolated from fossils, and that the rest is surmised from studying reptile and bird behavior and habits, which provide scientists with clues as to the nesting, nurturing of, and lives of baby dinosaurs. Hatching from small, oval eggs, the newborns ate berries while one member guarded the nest from meat-eating, nest-raiding predators. The author speculates as to the role of fossilized plants that covered the eggs of the maiasaurs and what the discovery of oviraptor skeletons may reveal about the feeding of the young.
Washburn’s illustrations take a nonthreatening to the subject, casting the rosy-toned dinosaurs as friendly rather than imposing. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-8)