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TERRIBLE TYRANNOSAURS by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld


by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld & illustrated by Lucia Washburn

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-027933-8
Publisher: HarperCollins

There are lunging, snapping, biting Tyrannosaurus rex’s on nearly every page of this Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out About title. Young browsers will enjoy the pictures, but may have a hard time finding some of the detailed but subdued text, occasionally buried in the landscape. Too bad, because the author has some interesting things to say. For instance, T. rex had nearly the largest brain of any of the dinosaurs. “Scientists think that this big brain must have endowed T. rex with extremely keen senses.” These senses, goes the theory, might have helped him sniff out or hear herds or the sick or dying. And T. rex had hollow bones, which may have made him a fast runner. There is no mention of conjecture about whether he was warm blooded or not. Other speculation abounds throughout the text, but there is no documentation for any of it. Stage two titles are supposed to have more challenging concepts for primary grade children. In some places, it’s not the concepts, but the sentence structure that may challenge the primary grade reader. For example, “With prey as formidable as Euoplocephalus, Triceratops, Alamosaurus, or Edmontosaurus, a dead or injured dinosaur might have been T. rex’s first choice.” An afterword includes brief information about other T. rex relatives. While it will certainly find its audience, this title needs a little less lurid illustration and some documentation. (Nonfiction. 6-9)