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Dinotopia: First Flight Hardcover – October 31, 1999


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Hardcover, October 31, 1999
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Series: Dinotopia
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (October 31, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060280077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060280079
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 9.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #540,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6-Brightly colored, exquisitely detailed prehistoric creatures brimming with personality square off against menacing-looking mechanical monsters in this luxuriantly illustrated-but lamely plotted-prequel to Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time (Turner, 1992; o.p.) and its spin-offs. Having replaced all of its animals with massive, iron-gray robots, the Empire of Poseidos mounts an attack on Highnest, home of Dinotopia's pterosaurs. Luckily, young Poseidonian orphan Gideon Altaire, along with (taking a cue from the Disney bible) a gaggle of cute, squabbling nonhuman sidekicks, arrives to save the day. Children will be drawn to the flashy, dramatic paintings, but are likely to skip the text-especially since isolated lines printed in larger, differently colored type serve as captions to each scene. A fold-out game board with perforated sheets of character and action cards makes this problematic for libraries, even without the trite story line. Alan Dean Foster's full-length "Dinotopia" novels (HarperCollins) have more to offer.
John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Critics have gushed over Gurney's phantasmagorical creation, likening him to such venerated literary fantasists as Jules Verne, Wells, and J. R. R. Tolkien." -- People Magazine
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

James Gurney is the author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Dinotopia book series. He designed the World of Dinosaurs stamps for the U.S. Postal Service and has worked on over a dozen assignments for National Geographic magazine, painting reconstructions of Moche, Kushite, and Etruscan civilizations. He has won the Hugo, Chesley, Spectrum, and World Fantasy Awards. Solo exhibitions of his artwork have been presented at the Smithsonian Institution, the Norman Rockwell Museum, and currently at the Lyman Allyn Museum of Art. He has recently been named a "Grand Master" by Spectrum Fantastic Arts and a "Living Master" by the Art Renewal Center. His most recent book, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter, was Amazon's #1 bestselling book on painting for over 100 weeks and is based on his daily blog gurneyjourney.blogspot.com. For more information, visit www.dinotopia.com or www.jamesgurney.com
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Customer Reviews

We are collecting all of the Dinotopia books!
J. Hopper
The illustrations are wonderful as always, but I would definitly say that this is my least favorite of the series.
Gradgirl08
The story in this one is sub-par, but not horrible, it is the pictures that are disappointing.
Alex Gorrod

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There can be no doubt that James Gurney's painting are absolulty lovely, whimsical, thoughtful, interesting and beautiful. I enjoyed both "Dinotopia" and "Dinotopia The World Beneath". "Dinotopia First Flight", however does not come close to the these two in story or character development. It has cookie cutter characters and is quite predictable. The game included is of little interest to children. The pictures are great, but I'm disappointed.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "dt34" on November 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I just have to say this. He's my very favorite illustrator. His first 2 books are 2 of the best books I bought. But this one is inferior by fay to the other 2 books. Maybe he didn't have time, or the editer had bad taste. It's really sad to see it happens that the quality drops dramatically. But I hope Mr. Garney reads this and think about it. Because every one of us expects a lot from one of the greatest illustrator of our time.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
If you haven't bought the first two Dinotopia books (Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time and Dinotopia: The World Beneath), buy them. They are surely two of the greatest books in almost any genre written in the last 30 years. If you have, read them again instead of buying this. It is a big disappointment and is basically just an average book. But, I would recommend looking at it at a bookstore also, just in case you think it is worth the money...
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Gallagher on January 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My 1st grade son received this book for Christmas and was thrilled with the story and has studied the pictures by the hour. We are looking forward to working our way through the older Dinotopia stories now. I was surprised that this book was not reviewed as highly as the other books so now have some very high expectations. This shorter story was a nice way for my 7 year old to be introduced some serious fiction without scaring him with bulky text. It is a nice change from Pokemon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Rose on March 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I found the story very lacking, but the lustrations are up to par, above in some cases. I noticed that most of the other reviews were four stars. In my opinion, that means the illustrations are enough to carry the book. Illustrations of this caliber normally are.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
compared to the other Dinotopia books (all of which I enjoyed) this is a atrocity. James Gurney's illustrations are still interesting and wonderful, but as others have said, the plot and characters are cookie cutter thin. The one liners spouted out by the non-human characters will make you cringe. I just hope Gurney can make another book and cleanse his now tainted name.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Enjolras TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up because I have fond memories of Dinotopia from when I was a child. I remember the fantastical images of humans and dinosaurs coexisting and marching in fanciful parades.

Unfortunately, this book doesn’t have much of that. The story focuses more on a society near Dinotopia that uses dinosaur-shaped machines. James Gurney’s paintings are still incredible, but the pictures tend to be of robotic contraptions, with relatively few dinosaurs (don’t worry though, they’re still there).

The story of First Flight is pretty simple. At times, it borders on simplistic. A young man, Gideon Altaire, rebels against the technological society and helps a nest of pterosaurs find a ruby. That’s it really. Unfortunately, Gurney’s writing never manages to bring the story to life. There’s very little dialogue and much more telling than showing.

This 20th anniversary edition includes some bonus material, but I’d really only recommend it for hardcore fans. There’s another story about Dinotopia history, featuring Blake Terrapin, but like First Flight the writing is pretty stale. I think it’s supposed to be as if a historical legend, but it doesn’t quite reach the level of legend. At one point, in describing the hero and another girl, the narrator even says “there’s some chemistry” – something not apparent to the reader.

Sadly, I don’t think this is a great introduction to Dinotopia (which is what the marketing material claims). It’s more like historical supplementary materials for the original Dinotopia books. There are some beautiful pictures, but others in the Dinotopia series are much better. Recommended for hardcore fans only.

NOTE: I received an advance review copy kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Dinotopia:First Flight is a book about a boy named Gileon,who is being tracked down by an evil person named Roff Stricker because he is not doing his schoolwork.He makes some friends named Budge,Binny,Bandy and Bongo(Short nam is the 4 B's)that help Gideon out of his dangerous adventure.If you like dinos and robots you will like this book.
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