World’s Scariest Dinosaurs

July 4, 2012

World’s Scariest Dinosaurs

By Rupert Matthews

Heinemann Library, 2012

Extreme Dinosaurs Series

ISBN:  9781410945259

Grades 2-4


“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.

Enchanted Learning has a good dinosaur page with definitions and more information here.

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.


April 21, 2010

Dinosaurs Eye to Eye

By John Woodward

Digital Sculptor Peter Minister

DK Publishing, 2010

ISBN #978-0-7566-5760-4


Grades 3-7

“The age of dinosaurs began some 230 million years ago, near the beginning of the Mesozoic era. Dinosaurs went on to dominate life on Earth for 165 millions years—a vast span of time that permitted the evolution of a dazzling variety of species.”

This oversized, information-packed book holds a fascinating look at dinosaurs, their evolution and demise, and their relationship among other vertebrate animals. Set within the timeline of the Mesozoic era, the book fills in the story of the appearance of dinosaurs and sets the stage of the Earth on which they lived. Large images of the reptiles with explanatory captions, photographs, and graphics fill each spread and the information is appealing and up to date. From Postosuchus—a massive jawed predator that likely preyed on dinosaurs to the mighty T. rex, dinosaurs roam the pages. A two page glossary and index complete the back matter. The book has an excellent table of contents broken into the three Mesozoic eras.

This book is sure to appeal, particularly to the large group of dinosaur-loving children. The dense text and small size of the captions may interest better readers, but the illustrations and fast facts can intrigue any level of reader.

Activity 1 (older readers)

After reading the book, find five different examples of adaptations that different dinosaurs developed. Write and explain how these adaptations enabled the dinosaur to be better suited to live and compete in its environment.

More about dinosaur adaptations

More about adaptations

Activity 2 (younger readers)

Look up characteristics of reptiles and characteristics of birds. Choose a specific dinosaur and explain how it fit into one of those groups.

Characteristics of reptiles

Characteristics of birds

National Science Standard: diversity and adaptations

Book donated by publisher


March 10, 2010

Monster Fliers From the Time of the Dinosaurs

By Elizabeth MacLeod

Illustrated by John Bindon

Kids Can Press, 2010

ISBN # 978-1-55453-199-8


Grades 2-6

During the time when dinosaurs walked the Earth, flying birds, reptiles, and one dinosaur soared above them, filling the skies with creatures large and small. Some fur-covered, others with a thousand teeth, many with other distinct characteristics, these flying animals ranged in size from that of a crow to a wingspan of a small airplane. While mostly pterosaurs, or winged lizards, other species also flew.

The book devotes a page or a spread to the specific fliers, beautifully illustrated in great detail. The text provides information about each flier and headings alert the reader to the sort of animal depicted. Each scientific name is followed by a pronunciation guide within the narrative—important to the students who enjoy pronouncing the difficult names correctly.

This fascinating collection takes a few minor liberties as to what constitutes a flier, including gliders and soaring underwater in one instance in the group, in order to include more animals. However, this book is sure to be a hit with dinosaur-loving readers and the odd characteristics of each creature included in this group will delight anyone else.

Activity 1

Identify which of the creatures from the book were birds and which were reptiles. Look up the distinguishing characteristics of birds and reptiles. Then classify six of the fliers from the book and write an explanation about how they exhibit bird or reptile characteristics.

Activity 2

Read the book and find three examples of how the fliers were suited for their habitats. Then identify an adaptation that suited them for living there.

For more information:

Pterosaur information

pterosaur pictures

dinosaur classification

fliers as food

article with good fossil photos

National Science Standards: organisms and environments; diversity and adaptations

Book provided by publisher to TWU’s Librarian’s Choices Review Committee


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