Unusually well organized, with plenty of appeal for both casual and confirmed dinophiles.

Realistically depicted dinos strike alert poses in prehistoric settings in this overview of when and where they and some of their cousin creatures lived.

After opening with big-picture views of our planet’s history and a timeline punctuated by massive extinction events, the two-part presentation first introduces representative species from each period of the Mesozoic era in turn, then goes on to highlight select fossils discovered in modern times at major sites on each continent—including Antarctica. Following a roundup of dino extinction theories and a gallery of prehistoric birds other than Archaeopteryx, an alphabetically arranged table of dinosaur information (name, geological period, length, and more) kicks off a flurry of useful resources (including apps) and other backmatter. Expertly angled to show brightly colored skin patterns and plumage, distinctive physical features, and (especially) teeth to good advantage, the prehistoric cast shares page space with blocks of simply phrased descriptive commentary, easy-to-read maps, site photos, and portraits of paleontologists, including several of color, at work.

Unusually well organized, with plenty of appeal for both casual and confirmed dinophiles. (glossary, index, photo credits) (Nonfiction browsing/reference. 7-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 9781426372797

Page Count: 128

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022



Fans of Terry Deary and Martin Brown’s Horrible Histories and their ilk are unlikely to consider this latest imitation more than an also-ran. Oliver surveys British history from the Isles’ Ice Age formation to the not-exactly-hot-off-the-presses 2005 news that London will host the 2012 Olympics. Though accurate enough in his broad picture, the author’s debatable facts (“…the Romans introduced really useful things such as toilets and even vegetables to the people of Britain”) and awkwardly written generalizations (“The Celtic kings consulted religious advisors to help them rule, known as druids”) drag the bland text down even further. Pinder's pen-and-ink illustrations attempt snark but too often fall flat: “That girl was always getting in my way,” remarks Bloody Mary as Lady Jane Grey’s newly severed head bounces by. This catalog of major British kings, queens, wars, pivotal events and cultural milestones is unlikely to entertain—much less resonate with—American audiences. (index, royal timeline) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-906082-72-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Buster/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2010




Thirteen prominent American men and women are briefly profiled in this collection. Chronologically ranging from Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama, each entry features an inspiring quote from its subject and a concise explanation of his or her context in history. Opposite each page of text is a watercolor painting by the author depicting an image or montage of the notable individual and illustrating the work they achieved or how they lived. Each one evokes the emotions the book is meant to inspire: courage, strength and determination. Franklin Roosevelt gazes reassuringly out at readers above a line of hungry people at a soup kitchen; Rachel Carson smiles at readers against a picture of a soaring bald eagle and an inset of her peering into a microscope. The selection includes four women and five male ethnic minorities. Almost all are familiar faces in collective biographies, including Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, but some names may be new to young readers, such as Emma Lazarus and Cesar Chavez. Included in the backmatter are thumbnail biographies of each figure and a list of source notes. The profiles are indeed inspiring, and younger readers will likely learn something new. For deeper research, students will have to look elsewhere but could use this book as an excellent starting point. (Collective biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8225-6810-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2011

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