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Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs : The Definitive Pop-Up Hardcover – July 12, 2005
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4–Informational tidbits appear alongside exquisitely designed pop-up constructions in this visually stunning overview of all things dinosaur. Each spread features a spectacular paper sculpture of a particular species (e.g., Ankylosaurus or Triceratops) along with a brief paragraph of text. Smaller foldout sections, which open like miniature books and also incorporate pop-ups, cover additional topics (Dinosaur Detectives and Mystery Extinction) and introduce other dinosaurs and their characteristics. Rendered in warm earth tones and speckled with splashes of color, the three-dimensional creatures move with a life of their own as they gracefully extend their bodies into a full stretch or lurch toward readers with jaws open wide. Be forewarned: the book is so enticing that children will find it impossible to keep their hands off it, possibly causing problems with the delicate pop-ups.–Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
K-Gr. 3. With Sabuda lending deft paper engineering to artwork rendered by Reinhart, who also wrote this book's text, the Mesozoic's major players leap into three dimensions. Pop-ups featured on the six spreads include a gargantuan brachiosaurus; an anklyosaurus studded with paper spikes; and, perhaps most impressive from a technical standpoint, a minutely detailed T. rex skeleton. Each spread also contains as many as four foldout minibooks, bristling with their own tiny pops. The brief paragraphs of text never go much beyond cute sound bites ("Was It a Can Opener?" asks one headline, referring to the einosaurus' hooked nose horn), and the abstract, textured style in which the pop elements are painted may frustrate some children's efforts to imagine how the oddly angled assemblages translate into real beasts. Information about whether the bold color schemes spring from fact or simple aesthetics would have been a plus. Will these problems prevent this from being gobbled up as voraciously as one spread's allosaurus tucks into a lump of dino flesh? Not on your life. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
On the cover of this book (fashioned to look as if it were bound in some kind of mottled leather) a sticker proclaims that "Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs" contains, "up-to-the-minute information about more than 50 different dinosaurs". I read this with some interest since the American Museum of Natural History had a recent exhibit of new dino discoveries and I was eager to see whether or not Matthew Reinhart (the oft ignored but nonetheless necessary collaborator to Robert Sabuda's books) would incorporate some of those new facts. What I found were fascinating suppositions, queries, and theories, many of which were entirely unknown to me. I dunno where Reinhart gets his facts (the book doesn't exactly reveal its sources or offer anything so useful as a bibliography) but there's some goofy fun stuff within the pages of this text.
Like many of Sabuda's books, each page the reader turns to offers one big pop-up, and then small booklets that contain even smaller pop-ups. These usually illustrate some kind of side information that relate to the two-page theme. For example, when you turn to the pages about "Long-Necked Giants", the little booklets talk about sauropod defences and the distinguishing characteristics found between the mamenchisaurus, the brontosaurus, the amargosaurus, and the plateosaurus. My spell-check is have conniptions with those names, but never mind. The point is that this layout, already used so well in Sabuda's, "Alice In Wonderland" and "Wizard of Oz" pop-up books, is far better suited to this kind of disjointed non-fiction narrative. It's as if Sabuda has finally found the perfect match to his golly-gee-whiz-bang style.
The book mostly covers different kinds of dinosaurs, and then ends with some speculation on what happened to the dinos in the end. The pop-up on this final two-pages is of an archaeopteryx. Unfortunately, this image doesn't leap from the pages quite as gracefully as the warm-blooded lizards of the previous spreads did. Nevertheless, we get a good schooling in the dino-into-birdy theory, the asteroid-goes-boom theory, and the climate-changes-dinos-go-all-chilly theory.
As I mentioned before, some of the theories in this book are wild. Check out the speculation that the stegosaurus's plated armor may have acted as heat exchangers or (my favorite) they flashed bright colors to warn off rivals or predators. Neon-sign dinosaurs. Cool. Everyone will have their favorite spreads but my particular favs include the already mentioned Victorian scientists tugging on a single bone (you can just make them go back and forth for hours on end) and the allosaurus tugging a raw chunk of bloody meat out of its prey. Of course, Sabuda isn't afraid to play on little kids' eternal love of T. Rex. The pop-out monster will find more than one parent hastily pulling the book back to avoid Rex's snout in their lap.
As a librarian, I feel obligated to comment on the sturdy nature of the pop-ups. Sabuda's books have always, in my experience, fared a little better than the average pop-up productions out there. He avoids common problems like pull-tabs and interactive elements. Sure, you can watch a dinosaur pounce on another in this book, but all you'll be doing is opening and closing some pages. Breakable tabs are non-existent here. This isn't to say that some parts of the book will wear away more quickly than others. A reading of one or two times revealed the stegoceras' claws already bent, but the paper in this book is tough. It's gonna take a lot of tugging, prying, bending, ripping little hands before this book is beat-up enough to thow in the towel.
A couple years ago a children's literature listserv I belong to wondered whether or not the manual labor put into Robert Sabuda's books via China or, in this case, Thailand was morally and ethically sound. And though I do not remember how exactly the answer was arrived at, the conclusion was that these books could be purchased with a thoroughly clear conscience. One less thing to worry about.
The book mentions right from the start the dinner party thrown by Waterhouse Hawkins, making this book an ideal companion to Barbara Kerley's fabulous, "The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins". Otherwise, it's hard to find any books out there that can easily be paired with this modern marvel. Definitely grab a copy of Steve Jenkins', "Prehistoric Actual Size" for a similarly unique take on dinos at large. You would think that the well of creativity regarding dinosaur picture books would be almost dry. Jenkins and now Sabuda have proven that this is hardly the case. A strangely witty and remarkably beautiful collection that will have a place of honor on your bookshelf. That is, until you buy the NEXT Sabuda/Reinhart collaboration. Top drawer.
When it arrived it appeared very thick. On the sides though it clearly doesnt look like alot of pages. BUT it is filled will alot of fun and factual information. There are 5+ popups per page and each has its own bit of information.
Types of dinos, Carnivores, Herbivores, Feathered, Armored, Biggest etc. Lots of different information in this book.
I got it for my dino obsessed 3 year old. Will be 4 in two months. He absolutely LOVES it. He wants it read as a bedtime story but there is so much info you could prob do 1 page per night and extend it out. He never wants us to stop reading it.
I have always been a fan of popups and this is the most impressive popup I have seen yet. Its just GORGEOUS.
I highly recommend this newest work! Kids and collectors alike, this is a jewel of any library.