From School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-This is a stellar look at the methods paleoartists employ to bring dinosaurs to life on paper. With a fascinating mix of text, expert quotes, and outstanding artwork, it showcases an aspect of paleontology that kids may not know much about. A lot of books focus on the action at paleontological digs and the reconstruction of what is found in them, but Thimmesh spotlights the gifted individuals who combine their talent with the latest scientific knowledge to layer muscles and flesh onto skeletal remains, adding another intriguing dimension to the study of these ancient creatures. These artistic sleuths pull together clues from plant and rock studies and other sources to create images as thrilling for the youngest dinosaur enthusiasts as they are informative for the most studied researchers. The highlighted paleoartists' renderings get full-bleed treatment, providing readers with a variety of spectacular interpretations of how dinosaurs appeared when they roamed the planet. Complementing the exceptional illustrations is an engaging, informative text written in a conversational tone. Artist profiles are included. The book is presented in a striking palette of saturated earth tones, completing a terrific package that will draw in browsers and serve report writers while inspiring young artists to consider applying their skills to this enthralling field.-Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, ARα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Most books about dinosaurs gloss over the obvious question posed in this book’s subtitle. The challenge of reconstructing a dinosaur skeleton from an incomplete set of fossil bones is only the first step in knowing what it looked like. In researching this original volume, Thimmesh interviewed a number of paleoartists, whose job is to illustrate different prehistoric species based on incomplete knowledge of their bones, muscles, and skin textures and colors, as well as their distinctive features, movements, habits, and habitats. Drawings, paintings, and models from different periods illustrate the book, accompanied by informative commentary in both the captions and text. Though the audience may be small, this will fascinate those whose interests include paleontological research and illustration, as well as some readers who were earlier intrigued by Kathleen Kudlinski’s picture book Boy, Were We Wrong about Dinosaurs! (2005). Ultimately, Thimmesh raises good questions, finds some intriguing answers, and leaves others for readers to ponder. Grades 4-7. --Carolyn Phelan