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Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara Hardcover – September 1, 2007

50 customer reviews
Book 4 of 4 in the Dinotopia Series

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Editorial Reviews


"A stunning achievement. I am ready to relocate to Dinotopia — especially if they are hiring paleontologists at their museum." -- M.K. Brett-Surman Ph.D., National Museum of Natural History

"Gurney draws the reader/looker/adventurer ever further into a surfeit of imaginative mysteries illuminating the sumptuous crypto-realm of Dinotopia: here is a treasure to be read and reread over a lifetime." -- John Stilgoe, Harvard University

"Gurney's meticulous draftsmanship and delicate sense of color combine to create a powerful vision of a full and complete world." -- John A. Parks, American Artist

"I thought the first two books in the Dinotopia series could not be topped, but I was proved wrong. Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara takes the adventure to a whole new level and new dimensions. The technique of light and detail is so stunning that I would find myself going back to look at the paintings again and again to see if I had missed something, and invariably I had. The human faces and costumes are wonderfully observed, and the animals, well, they are just so real. I expected them to move." -- Ray Harryhausen

"Jim Gurney's latest in a series of stunning masterworks, Journey to Chandara, is a visual feast of magnificent imaginative pictures. He has created another seamless weave of flawless drawing and gorgeous painterly color. Displaying late 19th Century art disciplines combined with a sensually elevated sense of wonder, Jim's work continues to move upward from plateau to artistic plateau. Lucky us — we are all the beneficiaries of his hard and inspiring work!" —William Stout -- —William Stout

"With lush settings reminiscent of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, colorful characters cast from Norman Rockwell, and vivacious dinosaurs conjured from the spirit of Charles Knight, Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara is a window into this modern master's mind. Children and adults alike will enjoy exploring this rich world of Jurassic proportions." —Tony DiTerlizzi, Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide -- —Tony DiTerlizzi, Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide

About the Author

James Gurney’s unique blending of fact and fantasy has won Hugo, Chesley, Spectrum, and World Fantasy Awards. His work has been featured in one-man exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Delaware Art Museum, and the U.S. embassies in Switzerland and Yemen. He lives with his wife, Jeanette, in the Hudson Valley of New York State.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Series: Dinotopia
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; First Edition edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740764314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0740764318
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 0.8 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 For more information, visit or

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By M. Murphy on January 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Journey to Chandara is, in my opinion, the best Dinotopia book written so far. It maintains the journalistic feeling of the first two books (A Land Apart From Time and World Beneath) while exploring new territory and characters. We travel to new cities, such as Bilgewater (built entirely out of ships), the nomadic Jorotongo, Thermana (mentioned, but not visited before), and the extremely exotic Chandara.

We get new characters to intrigue us, such as the Liners and Spotters of Sauropolis and their eternal debate on life. The emperor of Chandara is quite a surprise too; he's certainly not what you would expect!

One of the best things about Journey to Chandara is that James Gurney allowed fans to help. Fans were allowed to compile a list of cities and their locations, and their information was added to the updated map. Fans from the Official Message Board who visited James Gurney are also painted throughout the book.

The art is as astounding as ever. The Hudson River Valley School art style has certainly crept into many of Jim's paintings (Bilgewater, Ruhmsburg, and other landscapes), as well as some distinct Norman Rockwell (mostly in Jorotongo). Many of the paintings are near photorealistic while others maintain the National Geographic diagram style that has worked so well for Gurney.

My one problem with the book was the pacing. I sometimes felt that characters and places were introduced and left too quickly. True, this is what would happen on a journey across the island, but I wanted to stay with the characters longer and explore their cities just a little bit more.

All in all, this book is a great addition to the saga of Arthur Denison in his explorations of the island. I would highly recommend this book to anyone of any age.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jamie N. Stokes on October 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Richly illustrated (one of the reasons I grabbed the book) and continues the theme of Arthur Denisons "found journals". Having grabbed the original Dinotopia and First flight, decided I wanted to add this to my collection.
Id give it 5 stars, except there seems to be the occasional odd "jump" in the narration, where I felt a bit left behind. Only happened in two spots though.
Overall, the rich images,some nearly photo standard, really carry the book, with the text linking it all together. Another visual treat from the imagination of James Gurney, I would recommend it for childeren from about 6 years old to those of us who have kept the child within us (no matter how old you actually are!). I intend to keep these copies not only for my children, but hopefully for their children also.
Highly recommended
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Gaser on October 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've followed James Gurney's career throughout my own (Matt Gaser) and each book he creates just keeps getting better. The details in every illustration take you to a magical place. For me it's inspiring to dive into his books travel into the mind of Gurney through the world of Dinotopia and then sketch/paint and create worlds of my own. A wonderful addition for any one period. Looking forward to his next project???
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sean Samuels on October 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful story and a beautiful work of art...and a surprising place to find nuggets (reminders) about life's wisdoms. A great buy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brad Teare VINE VOICE on February 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book takes you on a charming voyage I didn't want to end. I actually spaced my reading over several weeks to prolong the experience. Much like other Dinotopia books it is packed with charming scenes and intriguing narrative. I also finally figured out the magic of the Dinotopia series; the combination of paintings and narrative triggers memories and day dreams that actually alter consciousness (like all good art should). The reading experience was the closest I've gotten to that dreamy state of mind I achieved as a kid reading books like Treasure Island or Robinson Crusoe. Additionally, this book contains Gurney's best paintings ever.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CSB on March 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a long-time fan of the Dinotopia franchise, I really wish I could give Journey to Chandara a perfect rating. The first book, A Land Apart From Time, is a nice departure from a traditional childrens book with a journal-style hybrid of classic Victorian adventure novels (Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, Doyle's The Lost World, ect.) and scientific periodicals like National Geographic, enhanced by Mr. Gurney's detailed artwork. The sequel, The World Beneath, forgoes the first-person narration of its predecessor with third person storytelling; the adventure is every bit as exciting and charming as the original.

Much like ALAFT, JTC's art and prose fleshes out many aspects of Dinotopia's diverse culture and environments; from panoramic vistas to cozy domestic dwellings to primeval jungles to the very clothing and paraphernalia worn by the island's human and saurian inhabitants - this book is truly a visual delight. Unfortunately, while the journal-style writing is kinda interesting, it's barely entertaining. The story is basically the equivalent of sitting through a slideshow of your aunt and uncle's summer vacation - it's informative, but drones on and on ad nauseum. Halfway through the book, my attention slipped from the dull story and turned to studying the gorgeous artworks in all their wonderous detail - an area where Mr. Gurney never fails to deliver. An adventure plot working in tandem with the travel/scientific journal approach (much like TWB) would have created a solid, more interesting read.
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