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National Geographic Kids Ultimate Dinopedia: The Most Complete Dinosaur Reference Ever Hardcover – October 12, 2010

183 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The subtitle, The Most Complete Dinosaur Reference Ever, sets its sights high, but this impressive, oversize volume lives up to the claim. Lessem has written more than 40 books on dinosaurs, and in the opening chapter here, he presents broad basics on their behavior and habitats as well as a look at major discoveries in paleontology. However, it’s the later chapters, which devote two pages each to specific dinosaurs, that will hook hard-core dino lovers. The etymology of each dinosaur name is explained, and each is written phonetically so that readers can share their newly acquired knowledge with perfect pronunciation. Tempesta’s full-page illustrations appear on every spread and jump off the page, and the dynamic layout, with fact boxes, captions, and a main text, is immensely appealing. A concluding 40-page “Dino-Dictionary” keys each dinosaur to its family group and provides additional fodder for dinosaur trivia. Books on this topic are certainly nothing new, but Lessem’s comprehensive overview will satisfy the interested browser as much as the ardent dinosaur enthusiast. Grades 3-6. --Erin Anderson
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Series: National Geographic Kids
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426301642
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426301643
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.9 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Max's Mom on January 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was an awesome purchase for my 5 year old. He has practically memorized it in it's entirety. The only downside is that the binding is poor quality. When I first opened the cover, the binding tore. Same thing with the back cover, too. I didn't want to have to send it back because he was so excited that it had finally arrived, that I taped it on both the front and back covers with wide shipping tape. Unfortunately, that doesn't do much for the pages in between. If not for the fact that it fell apart within days, the contents are very thorough and detailed enough to keep my very rambunctious dinosaur enthusiast busy for hours on end. He can read a little bit, but has memorized it from our daily narratives. Best dino book I've found. Too bad the binding leaves much to be desired.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By MagAnn on November 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book even for little ones. My son is 4 and loves it. Sure he is not old enough to read everything yet but the pictures are great! He feels like Dino Dan with a field guide. I love all the info that this book has that I can read to him! He loves to just soak up all the info he can on dinosaurs! I TOTALLY recommend this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this National Geographic Kids Ultimate Dinopedia based on all of the positive reviews for my 3.5 year old dinosaur obsessed son. My son loves to look at the profiles of dinosaurs and memorize their names, and characteristics (i.e., what they eat, where they lived, etc). So, I perused amazon for a dinosaur encyclopedia to help my son memorize different dinosaurs, which he loves to do.

Before purchasing this book, I checked out some of the sample pages of this Dinopedia and I was impressed by the information provided on the pages and the artwork. The few pages I checked out had full profiles of the dinosaurs that they discussed. However, when we started reading the book my son became very frustrated because many of the dinosaurs profiled only have artistic pictures of their heads or parts of their bodies. (See, for example, Tsintaosaurus page 175, Plateosaurus page 181, Muttaburrasaurus page 163, Heterodontosaurus page 157 and the list goes on and on). For us, this makes this book largely ineffective for helping my son identify dinosaur names by sight. This is because many dinosaurs look similar and it is only by seeing a full body profile of each dinosaur that my son can distinguish between many dinosaurs that have similar bodies or features. I should mention though, that on the opposing page of the in-color artistic image of each dino in this Dinopedia there is a small, thumb size, all black, side profile of each dino. However, I don't think a tiny, all blacked out profile of the dinosaurs in this book really helps much with dinosaur identification.

We also own a different and much smaller book of dinosaurs that illustrates the full bodies of the dinosaurs and my son has almost all of the dinos in that book memorized based on the pictures in the book.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By B. ANGEL on April 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good, very colorful book, but the information is very limited and it doesn't contain many of the dinosaurs/creatures my 6 year old & I are looking for. "Dinosaurs, A Visual Encyclopedia" is an encyclopedia we had checked out of the library and we love it. Definitely gonna buy that one. It has a lot more information, pictures, etc.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Herman Diaz on April 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Short version: If you want the best encyclopedic dino book for casual readers, get Holtz's "Dinosaurs".* Despite its title, Lessem's "The Ultimate Dinopedia: The Most Complete Dinosaur Reference Ever" (I.e. Dinopedia) is a mixed bag at best & a complete failure at worst.

Long version: Read on.

You could say Don Lessem is the Don Bluth of dinos: Bluth's pre-1990 work is mostly good, while his post-1990 work is mostly not-so-good; The same goes for Lessem's pre- & post-2000 work, respectively. In my previous review, I referred to "Dinosaur Worlds" as 1 of Lessem's best/most underrated books. This review is about Dinopedia, 1 of Lessem's worst/most overrated books: Overrated because it's more popular than it should be; Worst because of the reasons listed below.

1) Dinopedia's a mixed bag in terms of paleoart. In fact, it reminds me of Long's "Feathered Dinosaurs" (Quoting Miller: "I bought the book expecting a more technical discussion of the animals discussed therein...but was surprised to find beautiful paintings of questionably-restored dinosaurs"), but less beautiful & more questionable: Less beautiful because, to quote Willoughby (Google "ART Evolved: Life's Time Capsule: Judging a book by its cover"), "I probably prefer a more realistic style in paleoart"; More questionable because while Long isn't known for being a "premier dinosaur populariser", Lessem is. For instance, the dromaeosaurs (I.e. My favorite dinos) range from being completely feathered (Microraptor) to lacking primaries (Buitreraptor) to lacking wing feathers altogether (Velociraptor & Deinonychus) to being completely naked (Utahraptor).
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By golfdog541 on March 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We gave this to our five year old grandson for Christmas, as he is now into dinos. He loves it. This is the best book of its kind we have come across. It is very nicely illustrated and has a wealth of information about many different species, their habitats, etc. I enjoyed reading it myself.

A note about Amazon: I have been a regular customer for several years, and have never received an item damaged in shipment, until now. We received this package about ten days before Christmas, but the entire package was completely saturated. We think it sat outside at the post office in a driving rain before being delivered. Amazon's customer service was fantastic. They immediately sent another book to us that arrived a few days later, still plenty of time before Christmas. THANK YOU.
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