A mishmash of prehistoric fact and fancy, well overmatched by illustrations featuring images of full-sized dinos that look just as real as the photographed children who pose around or on them.
With a similar premise to Bernard Most’s classic If the Dinosaurs Came Back (1978) but without even its loose brand of internal logic, the author introduces 26 dinosaurs by name and suggests a supposed occupation or consequence. These often appear to be entirely arbitrary: “If a Tarbosaurus lived in my town… / …he and his cousin, Tyrannosaurus Rex, could have a hamburger eating contest!” In frequently clumsy phrasing (Corythosaurus “had hundreds of little teeth inside of her cheeks to chew with”), added dinosaur “Factprints” on each spread offer mixes of “facts” that sometimes contradict fossil evidence, as with a claim that Liopleurodon was larger than the blue whale. Others are just pure speculation: Maiasaura “would be very gentle with tiny human children” and Parasaurolophus calls “sounded like notes played on a French horn, or even a deep-throated trombone or bassoon.” On the other hand, though many bear human expressions, Eggleton’s dinosaurs are both realistically detailed and convincingly integrated into playgrounds and other familiar modern settings. The most recent reference in the bibliography is dated 2006, and one is as old as 1988.
Eye-brightening visuals in search of a better text. (index, not seen) (Picture book. 7-9)