Review Blog

Jan 02 2018

Dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures by Matt Sewell

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Pavilion, 2017. ISBN 9781843653509
If there is one section of the library that can never have too many items, it is 567.9 - the home of the dinosaurs. There seems to be an eternal fascination with these long-ago creatures that has been the door into reading for so many children, particularly young boys who like to get the biggest and thickest books and pore over them with their mates. So this new addition by Matt Sewell that introduces favourites and familiars and also some first-read-abouts will be welcome as it is targeted at those who want to know something but not so much that it is overwhelming. Who knew there were so many - but then they were on the planet for 170 million years! Each creature has a one or two page spread dominated by the illustration, an illustration that is somewhat different from the norm as they have been inspired by new ideas from palaeontologists that the creatures were not only colourful but some may have had feathers rather than the traditional scales and hide.
Each entry includes the length and weight which can always lead to some interesting maths activities and well as the time period (delve into history and create a chart) and their diet with 'proper' descriptors like 'carnivorous' to extend the vocabulary. There are other basic facts written in a conversational tone that makes the language accessible to those early readers. Given that not every dinosaur is included, perhaps they could produce an extra page exploring and explaining their favourite dinosaur as an initial information literacy exercise.
Produced in conjunction with the Natural History Museum in the UK, this is a worthwhile addition to that critical section of the collection.
Barbara Braxton

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