|Somewhere LeVar Burton is smiling right now.|
There are a LOT of dinosuar books out there, most of them aimed towards children. They are all either strict non-fiction, or crazy fiction that really has no grounding in science whatsoever. Ted's book, however, is different. It isn't just about dinosaurs. It's about the two most famous paleontologists in the world and how they discovered a lot of their dinosaurs all wrapped up in a whimsical and humorous style.
It's a really fresh take on an important part in history that i feel little kids know nothing about. This is especially cool since normally, children are not interested in the people behind the dinosaurs as much as the animals themselves. It usually isn't until later in life that kids (if they are still interested in paleo) gain an appreciation for all the hard work and sometimes drama that goes into unearthing these fossils! (trust me...there is WAY too much drama in the world of paleo even today) Well, this book explains that to a very young audience and it does a fantastic job.
There are a few liberties and stretches made but the book is based on real events for the most part. Did Edward Cope name an animal "NeverTopThisOne-Ginormous-asaurus"? No. But you better believe him and Charles Marsh got a little carried away naming new species after fragments of bones. After a while, despite all the good discoveries that had been made, including many very famous dinosaurs we love today, finding dinosaur bones was more about the competition and less about science. The book teaches a nice social lesson that comes from that too.
The illustrations by G.F Newland are great too. They are definitely kid-friendly but the color scheme and overall way they are put together stays true to the time period in which the story takes place.
|Ted Enik and G.F. Newland reconstruct an encounter from the Late Cretaceous in a gift shop. Photo courtesy of JR Pepper.|
If you have kids that are interested in dinosaurs and want them to broaden their horizons a little while still keeping their attention, I highly recommend picking this book up. It's a science lesson, history lesson, and a comedy act all in one book! You can nab a copy right here.