Gail Gibbons

Book - 2008

Simple text and illustrations introduce young readers to dinosaurs.

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Picture books
New York : Holiday House c2008.
1st ed
Physical Description
32 p. : col. ill. ; 27 cm
Main Author
Gail Gibbons (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

In this simple,  brightly illustrated book, Gibbons introduces dinosaurs. After discussing  how long ago they lived and how their remains were sometimes preserved, she shows  the way paleontologists use fossils to deduce information about the anatomy and behavior of beasts they have never seen. The book's middle section focuses on the five main types of nonbird dinosaurs, with several different species identified in each ink-and-watercolor illustration. Gibbons concludes with  a discussion of the giant-meteor-impact theory of the dinosaurs' end and a cheerful scene in a natural history museum's dinosaur exhibit. As in many nonfiction picture books, no sources are cited. An appended page entitled “More about Dinosaurs” includes five additional “fast fact” presentations along with small pictures. Throughout the book, the combination of clear writing and lively artwork makes this an accessible choice for  young dinosaur enthusiasts. Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Gibbons begins with a clear introduction to dinosaurs and paleontology for young readers. Two-page spreads illustrate and highlight well-known dinosaurs and give an idea of each one's size, habitat, eating habits and behavioras well as a phonetic pronunciation of its name. In closing, Gibbons describes the two leading theories on the decline of the dinosaurs: 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. Pleasant and informative, but the number of more elaborate dinosaur books render this one mostly supplemental. Ages 4-8. (October) Copyright 1987 Cahners Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 2–4—This is a simpler book than the author's Dinosaur Discoveries (Holiday House, 2005) but still adheres to the "nonbird" dinos, meaning those without feathers. Gibbons present a parade of Prosauropods, Therapods, Sauropods, Ceratopsians, and others for neophyte perusal, along with notes on the fossilization process, paleontology in general, and dinosaurian behaviors. Her rather slapdash illustrations do not include a time line, so young readers may not be aware that a variety of Ankylosaurs existed from the Middle Jurassic to the end of the Cretaceous (a period of some 150-plus million years) and did not all exist at one moment in time. Statements indicating that Prosauropods were plant-eaters may be confusing when a blade-toothed Herrerasaurus (admittedly a confusing critter in his own right) is included in the illustration. Gibbons's books have proved popular in the past, and this new one should prove attractive as well.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY [Page 110]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 2 Like Parish's Dinosaur Time (Harper, 1974), Gibbons introduces one or two dinosaurs per page, providing a few brief bits of information about each creature, along with a pronunciation guide. She also includes simple information about fossils and paleontology, explaining how scientists deduce facts from dinosaurs' fossilized remains and footprints. Although bright and colorful, the illustrations are disappointingly bland. Flora is generic and uninspired; the sky is always a flat, cheerful blue. The dinosaurs, too, lack the ferocious grandeur that children find so appealing. Brachiosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex, described respectively as ``one of the biggest of all dinosaurs'' and ``the most terrible animal that ever roamed the earth'' seem neither grand in stature nor horrifying of tooth and claw. The text also lacks innovation. Gibbons presents little new material on dinosaurs, rehashing dinosaurs' tired old reputations, instead of exploring newer findings. An example: Tyrannosaurus rex is still characterized as ``the terror of the planet,'' despite recent discoveries indicating that the creature may have been, at least in part, a scavenger. Despite its drawbacks, this book should find an audience with beginning readers, very young children, and the meek of heart. Readers who prefer their carnivores horrendous and huge will be better served by Peters' Giants (Knopf, 1986) or Cohen's Dinosaurs (Doubleday, 1987). Cathryn A. Camper, Minneapolis Public Library Copyright 1987 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Simple yet informative text and vividly detailed illustrations depict the most up-to-date information available about the magnificent dinosaurs that ruled the earth for millions of years.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Simple text and colorful illustrations introduce basic facts about dinosaurs.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A giant meteor blasts an enormous crater into Earth's surface, causing the end of what scientists call the Age of Dinosaurs. Gail Gibbons presents the most recent and up-to-date theories about the history of dinosaurs and dinosaur discoveries. She discusses the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods and the non-bird dinosaurs that lived during each time. Each dinosaur is explored in just the right amount of detail for young paleontologists, as this book brings these magnificent creatures to life again. Gail Gibbons's books have won many honors, including the Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award and the NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book awards.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Dinosaurs ruled Earth for millions of years. Gibbons's simple yet informative text and vividly detailed illustrations depict the most up-to-date information available about these magnificent creatures.