HOW BIG WERE DINOSAURS?

The title question is answered engagingly with comparisons of a handful of dinosaurs to objects and animals children will readily recognize.

Velociraptor, spreading terror in audiences since the first Jurassic Park movie, was only the size of a dog, though still pretty vicious. Stegosaurus was as heavy as three cows, but the plates on its back made it look much bigger. Argentinosaurus was the length of four school buses, but at least it was a vegetarian—it ate trees. Images of these dinos next to children, adults and common objects (note the SUV crushed by Ankylosaurus) on white backgrounds are not only amusing, but give a real sense of scale. All the people, animals and dinosaurs that populate these pages appear again, to scale, in a wonderful double foldout. Colors are clean and clear, outlines are crisp. Judge also describes how she figured out the relative sizes of the dinosaurs by studying fossils and skeletons at various museums, and she offers a very brief book and website bibliography. Perhaps a favorite might be Tsintaosaurus, which had a spike “like a giant unicorn” growing out of its head. Dino-philes, assemble! (Informational picture book. 7-10)

 

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59643-719-7

Page Count: 46

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2013

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A sparkling showcase with plenty to offer both art lovers and dinophiles.

EXPRESS DELIVERY FROM DINOSAUR WORLD

A surrealistic vision of the Cretaceous Era, with visual puzzles for intrepid explorers to solve and surprises hidden under flaps.

Printed on creamy stock and linked by a tenuous plotline—a young woman named Dongdong, a student at a Beijing art school, receives a mysterious album from the past and falls in—the 10 gamelike “Adventures” challenge viewers on a variety of fronts. First they must traverse a thick “Forest of Illusion” and a difficult maze, then spot a cleverly hidden pterosaur in a canyon packed with dinos before moving on to other challenges, and finally escape a dark cave (printed on acetate sheets) with the help of a detachable “flashlight.” Along with depicting dozens of realistically detailed dinosaurs, Dong takes several side ventures into free-association territory, as in one spread with 18 different “eggs” whose contents, revealed by lifting flaps, range from fanciful monsters to dino-themed clouds, carvings, and pastries. Following two more pages of “egg” flaps at the end that pay droll stylistic tribute to René Magritte, Salvador Dali, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, and other modern artists, an attached booklet offers subtle visual keys to each Adventure.

A sparkling showcase with plenty to offer both art lovers and dinophiles. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-945295-00-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candied Plums

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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A skimpy alternative to Adrian Lister and Martin Ursell’s Ice Age Tracker’s Guide (2010).

TOBY AND THE ICE GIANTS

A small bison meets some ice age megafauna in this prehistoric ramble.

Assuring his mom that “I’m big now. I’m not scared!” little Toby scampers off. He collides with a grumpy woolly rhinoceros, introduces himself to a Megatherium, wonders at a woolly mammoth’s tusks, and sidles anxiously past a handful of other Pleistocene creatures—including a group of fur-clad humans—before gamboling back to safety. Along with exchanged greetings, each encounter comes with a side box of descriptive facts and comments, plus a small image of the animal posed next to a human (in modern dress) for comparison. Young viewers will marvel at the succession of massive ruminants and predators, which Lillington renders in watercolors with reasonable accuracy, if anthropomorphic facial expressions. He offers measurements in metric units only (except for humans, whose weight is opaquely designated “average”). Rather anticlimactically, he caps his gallery with a perfunctory, unillustrated list of “some other amazing ice age animals that Toby didn’t get to meet!”

A skimpy alternative to Adrian Lister and Martin Ursell’s Ice Age Tracker’s Guide (2010). (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-909263-58-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flying Eye Books

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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