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DINO TREASURES by Rhonda Lucas Donald


by Rhonda Lucas Donald ; illustrated by Cathy Morrison

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-62855-450-2
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing

The author of Dino Tracks (2013) adopts a broader purview, introducing in verse 13 things we can infer about dinosaurs from fossil and other evidence.

The paleontology is better than the poetry. Singable, theoretically, to the tune of “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” each two-stanza entry takes on a single subject: “So what’s with all the feathers? Could the dinos fly? / Maybe they helped keep a dino warm and dry. / Or they might have helped to show off to a mate. / That’s the way a peacock tries to get a date!” Donald also describes the fossilized contents of “Dino Poop” and dino stomachs (“What’s For Dinner”), preserved hints about skin and coloration, sounds possibly produced by the hollow crests of duck-billed species and like topics. The poems, arranged in no apparent order, end with a mention of modern birds—followed by expansive notes (in prose) and a page of study questions. Morrison adds both helpful visual detail and plenty of action with facing views of crumpled fossils and reconstructed prehistoric scenes featuring toothy predators and heavily armored plant eaters in loud, mottled colors.

Donald is no Douglas Florian (Dinothesaurus, 2009), but even rabid young dino fans will come away with a clearer sense of what fossil clues tell us.

(bibliography) (Informational picture book. 7-9)