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Dinotopia, A Land Apart from Time: 20th Anniversary Edition (Calla Editions) Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, October 20, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Calla Editions
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Calla Editions; 20th Anniversary Edition edition (November 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606600222
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606600221
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Posing as a 19th-century scientist's travel sketchbook, this entertaining hybrid mates the visual appeal of the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady with a Jules Verne-like tale of Dinotopia, a land where dinosaurs and humans coexist. The scientist and his son travel around it, and the son grows up and falls in love. This unimaginative narrative exists mainly as a framework for the copious illustrations, which show breathtakingly exotic but impossible sights, such as a canyon city of people and flying dinosaurs, as well as amusing sketches of domestic scenes. The result is an enjoyable pastiche, full of visual references to cultures from Oz to Thailand and flavored with a Robert Fulghum-inspired philosophy: "Observe, listen, and learn. Do one thing at a time" (from the Code of Dinotopia). Though too superficial for the serious fantasy reader, this volume is great fun to browse through, and should find its way on to many coffee tables. 400,000 first printing; BOMC featured alternate; QPB selection; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up-- Arthur Denison, a Victorian scientist, and his son Will are shipwrecked on an amazing island . Here, dinosaurs live in harmony with a colony of humans, made up of other marooned travelers and their descendants. Will and his father are fascinated by the technology of their new home. They visit a hatchery, a blacksmith in Volcaneum, and a city built on waterfalls. The boy is most impressed by the Skybax Riders, people who are trained to fly on winged reptiles. Deciding to join them, he goes through their rigorous training program. In the meantime, his father finds a route to the dinosaur underground, a mythic place referred to in old dinosaur tales. He returns to find his son has ``earned his wings,'' but his discoveries are saved for (one assumes) another book. This fairytale will capture the interests of older fantasy readers--those perhaps, who enjoy the ``Lord of the Rings'' trilogy (Houghton), or Lewis's ``Narnia'' series (Macmillan). Younger readers, too, will be enticed by the dramatic, full-color illustrations, which include both panoramic sweeps of the utopian cities and detailed sketches of Dinotopian contraptions. While the women are more active than their Victorian counterparts, the adventurers here are still Will and Dad. Also, the illustrations tend to portray nonwhite Dinotopians as exotics, a stereotype better left in the past. Overall, the success of this story depends upon readers' ability to accept these creatures as peaceful, intelligent herbivores. Advanced readers who find sharp-toothed carnivores more to their liking may prefer a visit to Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park (Knopf, 1990), for a not-so-tame tale also set on a dinosaur isle. --Cathryn A. Camper, Minneapolis Public Library
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I've always loved reading, looking, staring at this book for years.
Fivezenses of Reading
I think this is a perfect book for all dinosaur loving children, and a great library addition for adults because of the incredible artwork.
sparrow23
A very interesting, and imaginative story with beautiful, and very detailed illustrations.
Banjofish

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Strategos on April 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
When I think of Paradise, I envision Dinotopia. True, it is a book designed mainly to describe a Utopia. But somehow, it comes across as much more than merely some fairy-tale dream or some idealistic imagined land with strange mythology mixed in. Yes, much more.
When you read Dinotopia, the first thing you notice is how it is illustrated. A wonderfully concept art styled, somewhat sketchy looking, yet ultimately gorgeous art is displayed throughout the book. Many of it's illustrations have been "borrowed" (or stolen) as inspiration for other books and movies. Waterfall City and the Canyon City in particular continue to impress me.
But the art of Dinotopia is only half of the book. The other half is the way it is written. Dinotopia is written like it is the lost journal of a scientist who washed up on the island after a shipwreck. Much of the book is seen from his perspective as you discover and learn about the science, technology, scenery, and way of life of Dinotopia and its inhabitants. You come to care about him and his son. And you may indeed come to love Dinotopia as if it were a real place.
It's hard to say what exactly is so compeling about the reality of Dinotopia. For a book without a real source of conflict, without some sort of crisis, it is remarkably interesting. Perhaps it is the technology. Like a wanderer walking through a distant dimension, we find outselves amazed by the wonders of a civilization we never knew existed. Perhaps it is the unity of the people of Dinotopia, combined with their diversity (each region has a different culture, way of living, and style of life, but everyone believes in the same things).
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E.R. on December 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is based on a fictional diary found by James Gurney, which tells the story of Arthur Denison and his son William Denison, shipwrecked during one of their voyages and saved by dolphins only to find themselves on an incredible island, unknown to the world, and habituated by dinosaurs.

The incredible thing is that the dinosaurs in this island live side by side with humans. Arthur and his son soon find out that the people in Dinotopia are very friendly as are the dinosaurs. Arthur and his son travel trough the island discovering and learning about the island and about a civilization where there is virtually no violence or war or prejudice of any kind. This island is a true Utopia.

The way the story is written you can't help it but fall in love with this place. The illustrations are so beautiful you feel like Dinotopia could exist. The story is very touching. This book is one of those books that really make your imagination come to life. The whole journey trough the island is incredible. Although this is a children's book, this book can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By KK in Worcester on December 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's splendid to see that Dinotopia is back in print in an edition that does full justice to the gorgeous, imaginative paintings of the original. Gurney's story makes satisfying reading, but even better are the pictures that let you dwell for a little while in some corner of his utopia with dinosaurs and colorfully dressed people. If I were a woodworker, I'd want to build some of the dinosaur toys; the costumes would be fun to copy. The leap of intuitive recognition you feel at seeing some of the landscapes is uncanny. And all the details--such as, a gardener watering lamppost flowers from atop a brontosaurus partner, with his water supply in a can around the animal's neck--allow you to immerse yourself in the pleasures of very precise world building. Besides, who wouldn't want Bix for a new best friend?
The added materials in this 20th Anniversary Edition are genuine enhancements. Adults, especially, will appreciate how Michael Patrick Hearn's introductory essay situates Gurney's work in the history of imaginative fiction. Gurney's own additional materials in the back should appeal to young readers especially. They make clear how the artist works, which is interesting in itself; but they also give ideas, such as building maquettes, that could be adapted for writing speculative fiction or inventive play as well as for painting realistic images of magical worlds. Altogether a celebration.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book has a lot about dinosaur names and how the dinosaurs lived, even the plants they eat. There are a lot of pictures that can help you to learn to recognize them. It is all very well drawn.

But it has a different perspective because they think of time differently, not as 1 o'clock but as when to do certain things, such as times to harvest.

It is very good realistic fiction because it makes you feel like you are a part of the story. It is written as a journal, kind of like talking to you, which makes the story seem more real.

The plot is very complicated. So it always keeps your attention and keeps you turning the pages. There is not a lot of action, but when there is it is very realistic because you feel the danger and excitment.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Reginald D. Garrard VINE VOICE on November 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Having always been fascinated by those giants who roamed the planet eons ago, I had to have this one upon its initial publication. "Dinotopia's" tale of a land jointly inhabited by man and dinosaur is a truly captivating adventure.
As fanciful as the premise is, the author logically develops the dinosaur characters based on the uniqueness of each respective species. Most are "good" and commune well with their fellow humans; but the T-Rex is still his usual grouchy self, much to the appreciation of us who were raised with the knowledge that the animal was one mean carnivore!
By placing the setting in the 1800's, the book could have been written by Wells or Verne, which gives it the feel of a classic.
And a classic, it is.
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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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