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Prehistoric Actual Size Hardcover – September 26, 2005
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 5–The exciting artistic presentation that worked so well in Actual Size (Houghton, 2004) is equally successful when applied to prehistoric creatures. Progressing chronologically from a dot-sized protozoan of 550 million years ago, Jenkins has chosen the animals and the portions of them to depict to great effect. Cut- and torn-paper figures reveal texture and delicate details, from the long wings of an early dragonfly to the feathered tuft of an eight-foot terror bird. A three-inch spiny shark stands out distinctly against a page of white space, while less than half of a giant millipede barely fits across two pages. A series of foldout pages reveals one complete small dinosaur (Saltopus), the impressive beak and head of a flying reptile (Dsungaripterus), and the thick claw of a fish-eating dinosaur (Baryonyx). Besides the sheer visual impact, the illustrations often highlight features mentioned in the brief text, such as the sharp beak of Protoceratops. Closing pages offer more information about each species, along with spot illustrations that provide the full-body view necessarily lacking from many of the actual-size renderings. Only 5 of the 17 animals are actual dinosaurs, and the inclusion of mammals, insects, and other groups emphasizes the diversity of life forms over this vast prehistoric span. The largest animal shown is also the most dramatic: the top and bottom teeth of Giganotosaurus fill an entire spread. Sure to elicit plenty of Wows from the 560's aisle.–Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Gr. 1-3. Children fascinated by Jenkins' vibrant cut-paper artwork in Actual Size (2004) won't want to miss this oversize album of prehistoric creatures that range from tiny to enormous. Not limited to dinosaurs, the animals pictured here include the minuscule protozoa, one millimeter in diameter; the eight-foot-tall "terror bird"; and the Giganotosaurus, which "may have been the largest predator that ever lived on land." The most arresting spreads are those in which the animal is too large to picture in its entirety. Only the Giganotosaurus' huge teeth are pictured (a few of those take up nearly a page), and the head and neck of the large flying reptile Dsungaripterus requires a four-page foldout. The dramatic effect of showing creatures at their actual size is even greater this time than in the first book, which featured contemporary animals. It's certainly hard to imagine that a three-inch shark, a dragonfly with a two-foot wingspan, and a six-foot millipede once actually lived on Earth. Information about and an illustration of the entire creature (not to scale) completes this colorful volume. Diane Foote
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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