Ancient Earth Journal: The Early Cretaceous: Notes, drawings, and observations from prehistory

by Juan Carlos Alonso

School Library Journal Gr 3-6-Similar in tone to Henry Gee and Luis V. Rey's fictional A Field Guide to the Dinosaurs: The Essential Handbook for Travelers in the Mesozoic, this so-called journal includes facts and a great deal of guesswork. Presented as a paleontologist or explorer's field notebook, with color-washed pen and ink drawings, it is a "record of sightings and observations" during the early Cretaceous period. There's a bit of speculation here. For example, do we know Acrocanthosaurus was "solitary, very aggressive"? Probably the latter, as it was a large theropod, but did it "attack prey by biting the hindquarters"? It was found in Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming; was in the family Charcharodontosauridae; was big; and might very likely have looked like the tawny-washed illustrations and sketches stretching over four pages. But for young readers, this commingling of definitive fact and speculation can be misleading. However, the attractive design will spark children's imaginations. VERDICT Presenting current facts with a soupcon of creativity, this eye-catching title will be coveted by young dinophiles.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list The high-quality illustrations of this short but fascinating book are a sign of the expertise of the creators: Alonso is an artist and graphic designer, and Paul is an illustrator and researcher who worked on projects such as Jurassic Park. Though they cover only 19 dinosaurs (plus 2 early birds), they do give readers a good overview of life during the early Cretaceous period. The dinosaurs are organized into four suborders: theropods, sauropods, ornithischians, and pterosaurs. Each suborder's section offers examples of some of the dinosaurs it classifies and covers a range of sizes and scientific families. There are informational passages at the beginning of each section offering detailed descriptions of each suborder, but the real draw for budding paleontologists are the illustrations, which are realistic, in full color, and labeled, much like an old-fashioned nature journal. The only thing missing are details on how the artists developed their vision of each dinosaur, but that is a small quibble for a book that is sure to be popular with dinosaur-mad readers.--Wildsmith, Snow Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

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