A broad gander at dinos and other toothy residents of the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods.
Chester opts for melodrama over any attempt at realism, floating on each spread a half-dozen or so prehistoric creatures posed in a limited range of side angles, rendered as flat figures in acidic, high-contrast hues and with mouths agape. Red is a particularly common color, as the violent rending of flesh begins on the title page. Even such herbivores as Triceratops or “gentle plant-eater” Nothronychus sport swathes of harsh vermilion on muzzles and backs. Brusatte, consultant on the miniseries Walking with Dinosaurs, likewise goes for the gusto: “What does Velociraptor do with this scary claw? It uses it first to hold down its victims, and then to slash open their guts.” Repeatedly warning young readers that any momentary distraction or laughing at “strange” features will result in being hunted down and eaten, the author delivers a standard assortment of likely facts and general speculations (without distinguishing between the two) on the habits and especially diets of extinct dinosaurs and reptiles, along with forced value judgements (“Deinocheirus is the weirdest dinosaur you’ve ever seen”), plus references to the supposed dispositions of various creatures and to front extremities as “hands” for an anthropomorphic overlay.
Unusually garish illustrations are the only mark of distinction here. (index, resource list) (Nonfiction. 8-11)