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An Alphabet of Dinosaurs (hc) Hardcover – March 1, 1995

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this handsome and useful work, several of Barlowe's (Expedition) intricately detailed, vibrantly colored paintings possess an almost photographic clarity. Also impressive is the artwork's semblance of motion, as these beasts scurry across vivid landscapes, doing battle or foraging for food. Opposite each full-page illustration, Dodson (Giant Dinosaurs; Baby Dinosaurs) provides brief, lively descriptions of the various species. Beneath these entries are line drawings of each creature's skeleton or skull-by Michael Meaker, staff illustrator at L.A.'s Natural History Museum-and addenda focusing on specific physical characteristics. (Meaker's clean line art also illustrates a concluding compilation of vital statistics.) Though kids at the upper end of this target audience are beyond this format, they will surely be fascinated by the subject matter-especially by such creatures as the Xenotarsosaurus and the Zephyrosaurus, said to be recently discovered (just in time to conclude the ABCs!). Ages 6-10.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 4?A standout among the scores of dinosaur books that have stock photos or overused museum art. Barlowe's original artwork, more than the text (which acts almost as captions), is what makes this alphabet book extraordinary. It shows how well illustration can work, by capturing a fine balance of realism, drama, and imagination. These dinosaurs have the weight of real flesh and blood and are shown fighting, eating, or raising their young. Backgrounds of natural phenomena, such as volcanoes, sunsets, and a torrential monsoon, create a sense of drama and mood. The lighting and backdrop tones are also affected by the illustrations' unique settings?an underwater view, a stark rocky hillside, a moonlit evening?none of them typical dinosaur locales. Like their modern relatives the gila monster and macaws, these dinos are often shown to have brightly colored skin tones. But there's always an implication of purpose in their coloration, be it camoflage, mating finery, or species recognition. That's what ultimately makes this book so good. It links the imaginative possibilities of science with facts. The only disappointment is the alphabetical arrangement, which allows for only one creature per letter. Readers are shown T. rex, but not Triceratops. One can only hope for another volume!?Cathryn A. Camper, Minneapolis Public Library
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590464868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590464864
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 10.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
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2 star
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The book goes from A-Z with different dinosaurs for each letter. The pictures are really neat and colorful! You'll know lots more about different dinosaurs after reading this book!
KDH--Age 5 1/2
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By A Customer on February 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My 3-year old is obsessed with dinosaurs. But most of the dinosaur books we have are for older readers, and while he loves looking at the pictures, he doesn't understand a lot of the text when I read it to him. This book is great: it organizes the dinosaurs by the letters of the alphabet, and he loves learning what dinosaurs start with what letter; the text for each dinosaur is brief enough that the entire book can be read at bedtime; and the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has many dinosaurs I have not seen or heard of, sent in good time and I encourage all people who like dinosaur to buy this Good price.
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Format: Hardcover
First, let me say that this is just one of many Dinosaur Alphabet books out there. Type in Dinosaur Alphabet in your Amazon search engine, and dozens pop up. Second, while this book was written by a professor at the Universtiy of Pennsylvania who has found dinosaur fossils in the past, if you read closely it says that he is an anatomy professor, not really a paleontologist. I guess that doesn't matter too much for a book written at such a basic level.

I could only assume that the purpose of a book like this is to teach children the alphabet in a way that will interest them (Around two years old is when children begin learning the alphabet.) This illustrations however are not the kind you would expect for that age group. Also, the back of the book has a "Guide to the Dinosaurs in this book" section, that are like small index card size entries showing a picture of one of the bones of said dinosaur (a claw or a skull, occasionally a full skeleton) with information about what the name means, what it ate, where it was found, how long it was; in other words, information that means nothing to a two year old.

Some of the pictures are drawn well, but others are unrealistic or lacking in quality. The Chasmosaurus for example is an excellent drawing. The Tyrannosaurus looks silly with a pink face and a green body. The Xenotarsosaurus looks like a salamander, the way dinosaurs were portrayed like back in the 1960's

This book was a big miss for me. There are many other books out there that do the same thing better. The descriptions of the dinosaurs were meager and superficial, the drawings as was already mentioned were mostly mediocre. If looking for a dinosaur alphabet book, look elsewhere.
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