Did Dinosaurs Eat Pizza?: Mysteries Science Hasn't Solved

Overview

Have you ever seen a dinosaur in your backyard? Of course not. But where did they go?

What did a Parasaurolophus sound like? Why did the Spinosaurus have enormous fins along its back? Do you ever wonder what a Tyrannosaurus rex ate for dinner? Perhaps it feasted on freshly caught Maiasaura. Or maybe it preferred slow-roasted Pterodactyl. Scientists aren't sure what a T. rex's meal was like, but they're fairly certain it didn't involve pizza.

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Overview

Have you ever seen a dinosaur in your backyard? Of course not. But where did they go?

What did a Parasaurolophus sound like? Why did the Spinosaurus have enormous fins along its back? Do you ever wonder what a Tyrannosaurus rex ate for dinner? Perhaps it feasted on freshly caught Maiasaura. Or maybe it preferred slow-roasted Pterodactyl. Scientists aren't sure what a T. rex's meal was like, but they're fairly certain it didn't involve pizza.

There's a lot we don't know about dinosaurs. We may not have all the answers--but laugh your way through this fun-filled book and you'll discover the mysteries!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This lighthearted book examines the unknowns about dinosaurs as a way into addressing some of science's larger issues. Hort's (The Seals on the Bus) cheerful narrative often notes the facts ("We know from fossil teeth that most dinosaurs ate plants") and then segues into information that is still missing ("But we don't know how such giant sauropods as Argentinosaurus or Seismosaurus could ever eat enough to maintain a weight that might have been as much as one hundred tons"). Some of the info, such as how the prehistoric creatures mated, is conjecture: "Perhaps male dinosaurs strutted their stuff to attract a mate, but in most cases it's not possible to tell a male fossil from a female, let alone determine what a lady dinosaur might have looked for in a gent." Among other mysteries touched upon are what color dinosaurs were, why they disappeared, and how the largest of them managed to lay their eggs so that they did not shatter on the ground. O'Brien's (The Beach Patrol) artwork steals the show with unabashedly silly scenarios. One particularly kid-pleasing spread, speculating on how Tyrannosaurus rex hunted, depicts a toothy T. rex at a restaurant littered with waiters' bones, bow ties and aprons, while a similarly clad dino server-his next victim?-is pushed through the kitchen door by his peers, carrying a covered dish. An entertaining way to consider how science is a field of raising questions and pursuing the answers, even if they are inconclusive. Ages 4-6. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Adding to what seems an endless fascination with dinosaurs are the new discoveries made all the time. What Hort explores here are some of the things we still don't know about them. Questions remain about what color they were, how much they weighed, what sounds they made, how they courted and mated, and many other puzzlers, including exactly how and why they became extinct. O'Brien takes advantage of the unanswered questions, constructing tongue-in-cheek scenes of outrageous actions. A Tyrannosaurus rex at a restaurant table tossing bones on the floor still does not help us figure out whether it hunted its own food or scavenged, while a banjo-playing Parasaurolophus in a recording studio makes music it certainly did not make with its hollow crest. Watercolor washes and fine line drawings with lots of texture depict a variety of examples based on the findings of paleontologists. Comic though they may be, the visuals have some basis in fact and should stimulate curiosity. A source list is included for those who would like to ponder further. 2006, Henry Holt and Company, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-A bit of creative humor and detailed ink-and-watercolor illustrations will stir the imaginations of readers who question the mysteries surrounding these prehistoric creatures. As the text alternates between what scientists know and don't know about them, museum experts paint a model, a single dinosaur joins its "relatives" in a zoo's birdhouse, and a long-neck nibbles his way through tropical "pizza trees." Did dinosaurs see in color? How did they get enough to eat? What color were they? How did they communicate? Why did they have fins or plates? More likely, the book raises questions, not answers. Its format entertains but answers little. Mark Teague's bolder, fanciful illustrations in Jane Yolen's imaginative books (Scholastic) fit the youngest of readers a bit more closely. However, children gather around any book with dinosaurs as the primary topic, and the playful illustrations combined with a bit of information and thought-provoking questions make fine starters for investigation. An additional purchase for most libraries.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
While allowing that fossils have plenty to tell us about what dinosaurs were like, Hort notes that there are still plenty of unanswered questions-from what they ate and how those massive but tiny-headed plant eaters managed to down enough chow to maintain their weight to what all the spines and spinal plates were for. Echoing the author's breezy tone, O'Brien casts Triceratops sending each other love notes with their neck frills, Maiasaurs with a stroller full of unhatched offspring, a Tyrannosaur in a restaurant downing both entrees (i.e., dead food) and waiters (live), and the like. Aside from a rhetorical "How much would you like dinosaurs to know about you?" at the end, this will please budding dinophiles as it raises their awareness of the split between paleontological fact and speculation. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805067576
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 1/24/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.31 (w) x 10.17 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Lenny Hort is the author of Seals on the Bus and several other books for children. He lives in New Jersey with his family.

John O'Brien has illustrated many children's books, including The Beach Patrol and This Is Baseball. He divides his time between Miami, Florida, and the New Jersey shore.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Perhaps our favorite dinosaur book

    Of all the dinosaur books my daughter and I have read so far this may be our favorite. It packs a lot of information into very readable bursts of text. The illustrations are somehow both amusing and informative, and truly complement the text in that several proved very helpful in explaining some of the more difficult concepts to my 4-year-old.

    My daughter in particular loves the idea that while we know a lot about dinosaurs already, there are many more things we don't know. She's convinced she is going to be the one to solve that perplexing mystery of how the very largest dinosaurs were able to lay their eggs without having them shatter when they hit the ground.

    It helps that you can't read for very long about dinosaurs without stumbling into examples of kids making important discoveries. For example, did you know that a 14-year-old boy discovered the 95% complete skeleton of Bambiraptor, one of the key specimens helping paleontologists understand the link between dinosaurs and birds? My daughter does, and she's already making plans for our next vacation to a dig site in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana (although in truth something like the Montana Dinosaur Trail might work better).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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