HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Author and Illustrator: Gail Gibbons
Publisher: Holiday House, reprinted 2009
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Gibbons, Gail. Dinosaurs! (published in 1987 by Holiday House). For several years dinosaurs have been a popular topic for children’s reading. Both our boys, when they were small, liked to read about dinosaurs, and this is one of the books that we checked out of the library for our younger son Jeremy when he was learning to read. It begins with a simple but clear introduction to paleontology for young readers. One or two dinosaurs are introduced per page, providing a few brief bits of information about each creature, such as its size, habitat, eating habits, and behavior, along with a pronunciation guide. At the end, author Gail Gibbons describes the two leading theories on the decline of the dinosaurs, that either the planet grew too hot or meteoritic dust in the atmosphere caused it to cool down.
An appendix describes the information gained from fossilized dinosaur footprints. With one to two short sentences of information on each page, major questions that preschoolers might have are all answered in a manner comprehensible to the target audience. One reviewer said that dinosauraholics should love it. The only thing that I cannot remember off hand is whether it talks about dinosaurs living millions of years ago or not. A couple of companion volumes are entitled Dinosaur Discoveries and Prehistoric Animals. Other scientific non-fiction books by Gibbons include Frogs, The Moon Book, The Reasons for Seasons, and The Vegetables We Eat.