By Rupert Matthews
Heinemann Library, 2012
Extreme Dinosaurs Series
“The world was a terrifying place 100 million years ago. Dinosaurs far larger than any animal alive today walked the land. Some of them were fierce hunters, while others were scary beasts with horns and spikes.”
Dinosaurs aren’t my favorite subject in science, yet kids love them and I’ve come to terms with them where I am interested more than in the past. This book most certainly will pull in young readers with its good information and fascinating illustrations. I loved the reptilian expressions on the dinosaurs’ faces and kids will, too.
The focus of this book is the most extreme “bad guys” of the dino world. The first page introduces the topic and each short chapter of a spread introduces the different kinds. One thing I liked was that the comparison of each dinosaur’s size was related to something the reader would know and could understand rather than massive weights that are difficult to picture. Other large reptiles from the time are pictured toward the end of the book.
Some art is labeled with one word tags while others have a short caption to add an interesting detail. The final page relates the study of dinosaurs to the occupation of paleontologist or to fossil hunting as a hobby. The back matter has a glossary, books, websites, and an index. This 32 page book uses vocabulary for readers in grades 1-2, but is mature-looking enough and has information to suit readers in grades 2-4. Bring on the dinosaurs—this is a fun book!
Label a sheet of paper with two columns labeled meat eater and plant eater. Go through the book to identify what each dinosaur eats and then classify each one into the right column. Introduce the terms carnivore and herbivore and add them to the column labels.
Bright Hub Education has a good page with examples of herbivores and carnivores.
National Science Standards: structure and function; social interactions and group behavior
Book provided by publisher.