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Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up

by Robert Sabuda and illustrated by Matthew Reinhart

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7636-2228-1
Publisher: Candlewick

From capering Eoraptor, “the tiny terror of the early Triassic” to a ravening T. rex lunging up at viewers as its spread opens, this gallery of dinosaurs will elicit the “Ooooohs” of admiration that Sabuda’s work always does, though it’s not up to his usual standard, either visually or in paper design. Captioned by brief comments and snappy headers (“Smackdown: Dinosaur style”), the 35 or so pop-ups are arranged in small folded-down folios around a large central figure on each spread; consequently the scale is inconsistent, and some smaller models—particularly the skeletons intended to model differences between lizard-hipped and bird-hipped dinosaurs—are just complex, confusing tangles. Furthermore, the flat, mottled color scheme looks cheap rather than vibrant, and some of the popup figures (examples: the stegosaurus, the brachiosaurus [or is that an argentinosaurus? The caption isn’t clear]) open into unnatural postures. The topic will make this a crowd pleaser, but not even rabid dino or Sabuda fans are likely to pay it more than a single visit. (Nonfiction pop-up. 5-10)