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Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages Hardcover – October 23, 2007
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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Authored by one of the world’s leading paleontologists, this volume delivers a plethora of facts and discoveries about dinosaurs. Despite the fact that it is called an encyclopedia, the volume is arranged in 42 chapters, beginning with a short history of the discovery of dinosaurs. Other chapters cover topics such as fossils and fossilization, geologic time, where to find fossils, and how museum preparators achieve reconstruction with the limited specimens recovered. Explorations of taxonomy, evolution, cladistics, and dinosaur origins precede a thorough examination of each group—Ceratosaurians, Spinisaurs, Carnosaurs, etc., 24 varies in all. Examinations of dinosaur eggs and babies; behavior; life during the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous eras; and dinosaur extinction complete this book. Scattered throughout the book are 33 sidebar articles by leading paleontologists. Illustrations include photographs, graphs, and charts, as well as color artwork, on every page. An appendix (“Dinosaur Genus List”) and a glossary of terms conclude the work. Passionate dinosaur lovers will want to read this new title cover to cover, but students doing homework assignments may be overwhelmed. With their encyclopedic arrangement, titles such as Age of the Dinosaurs (Grolier, 2000), Dinosaurus: The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs (Firefly, 2003), and Scholastic Dinosaurs A–Z: The Ultimate Dinosaur Encyclopedia (2003) are more accessible as reference tools. Recommended for collections where another resource on dinosaurs is needed, and if you already have dinosaur titles in your reference collection, this is one to circulate. Grades 7-12. --Cheryl Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
(Starred Review)...this eye-catching imagination grabber will be enjoyed (on different levels) by dinophiles of all ages. -- School Library Journal, December 2007
...[a] rich and informative treatment of everything related to dinosaurs....even the higher-level concepts are presented remarkably clearly. -- Horn Book Magazine, January/February 2008
...a very good bet for favorite 2007 dinosaur book in our PT PIX...truly sets a standard for reference material. -- Prehistoric Times, Issue 83, Fall 2007
...beautifully written and illustrated...this NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book will be valuable in the middle through secondary classrooms... -- NSTA
...encyclopaedic in scope and exceeds all expectations. A superior book the young dinosaur lover in your life will cherish. -- Januarymagazine.com
...the most dynamic title on the subject that I have seen for this age group [older kids] in awhile. -- Bookslut.com, December 2007
...would work beautifully as a gift for a paleontology-minded preteen...or any adults.... -- Wordcandy.net
Dinosaur fans seeking exhaustive information...need look no farther than Holtz's scientifically oriented but accessible account...an outstanding resource. -- Publishers Weekly, November 5, 2007
I am holding a treasure....This is a book that should have pride of place on any bookshelf. -- Roger Smith, Publisher, Dinosaurnews.org
This is the most comprehensive, up-to-date dinosaur book for enthusiasts of all ages, professional or non-professional in experience. -- Dino Russ's Lair
Anyone with even a passing interest in dinosaurs should not miss this journey into their diverse and strange world. Holtz and his colleagues fill the book with fascinating details ranging from discoveries of new species (e.g., a sauropod, Amphicoelias, with a mass of 18 elephants) to old favorites (e.g., Tyrannosaurus rex, which may have lived and hunted in packs). They cover major and minor groups, predator-prey relations, social interactions within species, habitats and habits, and evolutionary trends. With its conversational tone and Rey's engaging illustrations, the book should appeal to young adults and a general audience alike. --Science, December 5, 2008
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Many reviewers have pointed out that the isn't exactly pitched to younger children. That's probably correct. But of course, books are never "one size fits all." As a middle-aged adult wanting to learn about dinosaurs for the first time, this book was ideal for me. But I'm confident that a bright and motivated 10-year old will find the text equally enriching.
For readers who might struggle with this sort of comprehensive and detailed treatment of dinosaurs -- for very young readers in particular -- I recommend Lessem and Tempesta's National Geographic Kids Ultimate Dinopedia: The Most Complete Dinosaur Reference Ever. It's a more straightforward encyclopedia, primarily made up of two-page entries on various dinosaur genera: usually a very nice illustration on the left page, and on the right page, a short and manageable text highlighting some interesting factoids about the genus in question. There are some weird errors in the Lessem and Tempesta text -- for example, they mislabel the parts of the dinosaur hip -- and the factoids sometimes seem a bit randomly selected. But it's a nevertheless a good text for particularly young readers who need less text and more pictures.
I also compared Holtz's book with Paul Barrett and Raul Martin's National Geographic Dinosaurs, David Burnie's The Kingfisher Illustrated Dinosaur Encyclopedia, and Gregory Paul's The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (Princeton Field Guides). These books are quite fine in their own way, but I felt they all fell short when compared to Holtz's Dinosaurs.
The Barrett and Martin book contained a lot less information, in every respect really, than Holtz. My main reason for purchasing Barrett's book was the illustrations by Raul Martin. They are just gorgeous; more pleasing than Luis Rey's illustrations for the Holtz book, in my own view, despite the fact that Martin's Troodons and Velociraptors were, alas, completely unfeathered. Similarly, I learned that Gregory Paul, the author of the Princeton Field Guide, is one of the most influential paleoartists of the last 30 or so years and I very much love the extensive illustrations of dinosaur skeletons he included in his book. However, Paul uses a system for classifying dinosaurs and groups of dinosaurs that is, at least in places, not widely accepted. This fact alone diminished the value of the book for me. But putting that issue aside, it was also not as well organized and as informative (to a novice) as I found the Holtz book to be.
Finally, Burnie's Kingfisher book was probably the most comparable to Holtz in terms of both the amount of content and the type of content. Still, I regularly found Holtz easier to follow, more informative about basic information, and more informative about how paleontologists have arrived at their conclusions (or why they disagree). The Holtz book has the added advantage of being more up-to-date.
In sum, Holtz's book is the best I've seen. It's comprehensive. It is organized extremely well. (In fact, it's not really an encyclopedia in the strict sense. But despite this, it's not necessary to read the text cover to cover; the chapter topics make it is easy for the reader to jump around.) It's up-to-date, with discussions of cladistics and the thesis that dinosaurs are not extinct (birds are dinosaurs). And the artwork by Rey, while not my absolute favorite, is still excellent in most places.
This is the dinosaur book I'd keep if I had to throw away all but one.
The book is unsurpassed in having sections on dinosaur upbringing, how dinosaurs walked, how fast they grew and their overall biology. These sections in particular, made we wish that as a kid 40 years ago such a book existed. Imagine tens of Hadrosaurs forming a protective ring around the young ones to keep away a predator and you will understand the difference between this book and the many "identify and classify" books that exist. The "identify and classify" books are very much needed and important; and they are the backbone of all I have learned about dinosaurs. This book adds to them in a great way and is a lot of fun to boot!
Most recent customer reviews
go through and read about the different classifications that dinosaurs are put...Read more