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on May 14, 2007
Mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, and the hyracotherium are all animals of unusual proportion(some big and some small) and they all came after the dinosaurs. Unfortunately, they're also extinct. We know what that means - we can't visit them at the zoo. But, we can see wonderful pop-up images of them. And thanks to Sabuda's thrilling papercraft skills and Reinhart's concise and insightful writing we can interact with those images in a tactile and personal way.

As with Sabuda's other books this one doesn't have a plot - it has facts. It's more like an index to Mega Beasts than a story about them. And it seems kids or adults don't mind a bit. The pictures are very colorful, the writing is creative, and the book is most original.

Every parent knows the enjoyment from hearing a kid say `Wow! Look at that.' - and this book is full of wow-moments. Who can't be amazed at the Mega Beasts? They were here before us. What do they have to tell us about this planet we live on? Consider them here in the form of pop-up art.
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on June 11, 2007
Robert Sabuda has been at the forefront of paper engineering and bookmaking for almost 15 years, particularly since the publication of his intricate and beautiful Christmas pop-ups (and, later, greeting cards) made him beloved by children and adults alike. Sabuda's protégé, Matthew Reinhart, is a relative newcomer to the publishing world, but he has quickly made a name for himself through his own pop-up creations as well as several collaborations with his mentor.

The best known of these are the three books that comprise Encyclopedia Prehistorica, a terrific compilation of facts and figures about dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts. The first two installments introduced young readers (and their curious parents) to DINOSAURS and SHARKS & SEA MONSTERS. Now Sabuda and Reinhart return with the third and final volume in the set: MEGA-BEASTS.

This time, the focus is on the gargantuan mammals and other beasts that inhabited the planet during the Mesozoic Era, right through the ice age and almost up to the present day. These include the huge flying lizard quetzalcoatlus, prehistoric rats and bats, as well as more modern extinct animals such as the dodo. The authors' comments about the relation of such long-lost species to today's endangered animals are subtly made and well-crafted to spark discussion and contemplation among young people.

Of course, the highlight of any Sabuda/Reinhart publication is the pop-ups themselves. As with the other volumes in the Encyclopedia Prehistorica series, the layout of each two-page spread includes one large, somewhat imposing pop-up creature (the smilodon [saber-toothed tiger] and woolly mammoth are highlights) as well as four or more mini "booklets" that include smaller paper constructions of other animals. Readers will pore over these pages for hours, as much for the awesome feats of paper engineering and their representations of impressive prehistoric creatures as for the text.

Certainly these three volumes are not really encyclopedic, but their combination of fascinating facts and magnificent three-dimensional illustrations and design is bound to spark readers' interest in both the prehistoric eras and the arts of bookmaking and paper engineering.

--- Reviewed by Norah Piehl
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on December 6, 2007
This is a great series that is not only fun and beautiful but also teaches kids a lot stuff. My younger sister has all the books from Encyclopedia Prehistorica series. In addition to this book she also has the other two:
Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up
Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Sharks and Other Sea Monsters
My favorite series is about cats:
Why Some Cats are Rascals, Book 1
Why Some Cats are Rascals, Book 2
Why Some Cats are Rascals ( Book 3)
This series is for older kids like myself. It is full of fun and it also have a lot of information about all kind of cats and other animals, about history of Egypt (book2) and also about discoveries of American wild west and the Oregon Trail (book 3)
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on January 15, 2014
After getting this masterpiece pop-up encyclopedia book 2 weeks ago, I've been looking over the prehistoric pop-up creatures again and again! Anyone who claims paper books are obsolete should take a look at Reinhardt and Sabuda's MEGA-BEASTS POP -UP book! You can't fully experience the sensation of enjoying these books on an electronic Kindle or Ebook! On the very first 2 page spread is a standing pteradactyl whose wingtips spread out from the center of the pages and whose neck and head bob up and down when you open and close the pages! Even the legs and claws move in a life like manner with just the movement of the pages. The name of this pterasaur is Quetzalcoatlus( pronounced KET-suhl-ko-AHT-lus).

These scientists come up with such tongue twisting names! It's named after the serpent like sky god of the aztecs and had a wing span of 36 feet! I had read about this dactyl years ago but seeing it like this, pop-ing out of this amazing pop-up book is truly special! What adds additional fasination for me is the surrprise mini pop-ups around the big pop-ups! Underneath the mini pop-up page on the right of the big pteradactyl that is about fossils is a lovely pop-up dragonfly complete with transparent wings of plastic and is named meganeura(meh-guh-NOO-rah) witch had a wingspan of more then 2 feet! I'm glad the plastic wings are not cracked! And under this mini pop-up is another pop-up displaying both a prehistoric bat,Archaeopteropus (ar-kee-OP-ter-OH-pus) and a early vulture, teratorn(TAIR-uh-torn) It had a 24-foot wingspan! That's one big buzzard!! It's good there are all these phonetic pronounseations!

Then on the left of quetzalcoatus a pop-up titled sky lizards opens up to reveal a pteranodon in flight with a smaller rhamphorhynchus dactyl flying to the right of it ! And this is all on the first 2 pages of this book!! Other pop-up highlights include a pop-up Smilodon ( saber tooth tiger) that bounds across a 2 page spread with a great 3D head and fangs, a wonderful wooly mammoth head that moves it's trunk out towards you and a pop-up tar pit with a mastodon and saber tooth tiger sinking down into the tar! The mastodon covers his eyes with his feet as the tiger looks like he lets out a roar as they sink with the opening of this mini pop-up! And I'm amazed at how large some of these pop-ups are in the mini pages. One mini pop-up opens up to reveal an extinct bird, the giant moa that towers over an australian aboringine native and when the pop-up is fully opened he appears more then twice the height of the retangular pop-up pages!! Then when I close it he dissapears behind the narrow pages! There's plenty of information that includes more recent discoveries of prehistoric as well as well known favorites! Fun for both newcomers to the prehistoric life as well as returning fans of paleontology! Glad to have this with the pop-up DINOSAURS ENCYCLOPEDIA and I look forward to having the SHARKS AND OTHER SEA MONSTERS POP-UP ENCYCLOPEDIA! Oh one more thing, I don't agree with the suggestion on the back of this marvellous book that says,"TEAR into another pop-up of prehistoric proportions!" You wouldn't want to TEAR any of the lovely pop-ups in this book, would you?!
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on July 9, 2014
I received the shark and dinasour books from a friend for my nephew. I cannot stress how much he loved these books. He's delayed in speech, so he found great comfort in the animation of these books. HOURS have been spent playing make believe. He loves the "come-to-life" of the animals and the colours. The animals are detailed and the book is sturdy considering the intricities of the pop up animals and all. These books are not cheap, so we never really leave them around. Boys will be boys. He can be hard on the books, but that's because he's constantly playing with them. I would much rather him play hard on these books than have him sit in front of a computer. I am buying a few more, too!
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on January 7, 2013
My nephews are ages 6 and 8, and I wondered if they would a) still be interested in a pop up book and b) if they are old enough not to destroy it. This book is a winner in both categories. The boys were very interested in the books - I got both the Mega Beasts and Dinosaur books, and they were able to work all of the pop up mechanisms without tearing them up (that wouldn't have been the case just a year or two ago).

The adults in the house all had to have a go at checking out the books, too. Super cool!
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on July 6, 2013
Each page will scare you as the creatures from prehistoric times pop out and almost seem ready to bite or grab you. It's terrific! Children love it, especially boys. This is a great companion piece with Sabuda's Dinosaur book. Paper engineers is a great description of what this book needed to make these creatures live again between the pages of this super book.
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on June 14, 2007
I am ALWAYS in awe of the detail that goes into the Sabuda books. The pop ups seem to get better each new book! I consider these books to be pieces of art as well as wonderful books to share with children and other adults. Kudos to Rober Sabuda once again!
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on November 30, 2012
As for as pop-up books go - this is very impressive. But even though it's for ages 5 and up, I would say it was more 8 years and up. It would be a shame for the intricate delicate pop-ups to be destroyed by the young ones.
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on January 30, 2013
The 9 year old who loves dinosaurs and animals in general was wrapt in the ingenious pop-ups. I must say I found it a bit cluttered with all the side pop-ups on each page, but it was very interesting for the young man who received it.
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