Reviews for Dinosaur Feathers

by Dennis Nolan

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

It's hard to believe that the flock of pigeons in the park is comprised of dinosaur descendants, but that's the delightful truth. Nolan explores how those little birds evolved from their fearsome and often feathered forefathers, through splendid rhyming text that examines both the dinosaurs of old as well as their current incarnations as common birds. He touches on both general animal behavior and specific names of dinosaurs and birds with incredibly helpful pronunciation guides along the way. The poetic form lends itself to some wonderful tongue-twisting pairings who would have thought that you could find a satisfying rhyme for Archaeopteryx? The clever writing is accompanied by truly stunning illustrations; the dinosaurs, so often portrayed in dull earth tones, almost burst off these pages in a glorious array of colors rendered in exquisitely detailed paintings, and their avian descendants are given the same spectacular treatment. If readers crave more information after the jaunty poetry, back matter includes more basic details about each dinosaur and bird (covering a whopping total of 96 genera), along with a brief but beautiful introduction to the concept of evolution in the natural world. Parents may find themselves with both a budding paleontologist and ornithologist by the time this book is put down.--Emily Graham Copyright 2010 Booklist

Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Nolan beautifully pairs a clever rhyming text with luminous watercolors to express, for very young readers, the evolutionary link between several-million-year-old dinosaurs and modern-day birds. The poem's second half celebrates the varied bird species that evolved from their reptilian ancestors. Back matter includes a thumbnail index for featured dinosaurs and birds (including name, pronunciation, Latin translation, size, geographical location, time period), a illustration depicting four billion years of life on Earth, and a helpful description of the dinosaurs' evolution from reptiles to birds. Reading list, timeline. (c) Copyright 2021. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Viewers get ringside seats as dinosaurs march past in an evolutionary parade, giving way to their modern avian representatives.Nolan crafts a rhymed cadence that is itself an achievement"Ceratosaurus / Allosaurus / Archaeopteryx / Mamenchisaurus / Kentrosaurus / And Caudipteryx"but pales next to the brightly patterned, hyper-realistically detailed, and, increasingly often, gloriously feathered dinos marching by the dozens in close company across spacious pages. Just over halfway through, a flaming asteroid descending in the background signals a sudden change to an equally magnificent, more-contemporary cast whose feathers likewise "grew, and grew, and grew. / Flamingos, Owls, / Guineafowls, / And the Marabou." The portraits are all full-body, rendered (at least roughly) to scale, and with a low or level angle of view that sets them off to fine effect. Dino names throughout are matched to phonetic spellings, and a visual index at the back offers additional quick facts for every marcher. Following the image of a sinuous tree of life being studied by a racially diverse group of human offspring, a final rank of sprightly sauropod hatchlings fondly supervised by a humongous parent finishes off the parade on a homey note.A prehistoric progress that takes flight in more ways than one. (recommended books and museums) (Informational picture book. 5-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.