HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Dino Tracks
Author: Rhonda Lucas Donald
Illustrator: Cathy Morrison
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing , 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1607186199 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1607186195 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1607186311 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1607186314 1607186311 (Paperback)
Related websites: http://browntabby.com (author), http://cathymorrison.blogspot.com (illustrator), http://www.SylvanDellPublishing.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 5-9
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Donald, Rhonda Lucas. Dino Tracks (published in 2013 by Sylvan Dell Publishing, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464). How do we know that the creatures which we call “dinosaurs” actually lived? Of course, today we have all kinds of dinosaur fossils, but originally people in the late 1800s decided that huge monsters of some kind must have existed because they unearthed strange bird-like but very large prints set in stone. Author Rhonda Lucas Donald’s rhyming text, which can be sung to the tune of “Over the River and Through the Woods,” not only tells about how dinosaurs once roamed the earth but also describes how some of the earliest dino track finds were made in Hadley, MA, after a farm boy plowed up a field. Children always seem to enjoy reading about dinosaurs. What dinosaurs made the tracks, and what do scientists think they were doing when they made them?
The word “dinosaur” means “fearfully great lizard,” although scientists believe that dinosaurs were actually not lizards but a different kind of reptile. Young readers will be able to step back in time and follow dinosaur tracks around the world, especially using the pictures by illustrator Cathy Morrison, to help them visualize what the ancient animals might have looked like. Creationists will appreciate the fact that the text itself says only things to the effect that dinosaurs lived “down by the river of long ago.” However, the four-page “For Creative Minds” section in the back of the book does have references to the common evolution-based claims that dinosaurs lived from about 250 million to 65 million years ago and that today’s birds are descended from dinosaurs. A teaching activities guide with additional material is available at the publisher’s website.