School Library JournalGr 5-8-Recent discoveries of mummified, fossilized soft tissue have given scientists important new information about dinosaurs. The author begins by explaining the process of fossilization, noting the wide difference between the mineralized mummies that paleontologists study and intentionally preserved specimens like Egyptian mummies. Then she gives the background, details, and implications of six key discoveries, starting with the Sternberg Edmontosaurus in the early 1900s. The other examples all date from the past 10 years, culminating with the 2000 discovery of Leonardo, the most complete mummified dinosaur found so far. A bit of information about each scientist is provided, along with comments from most of them about their work, so readers get a feel for the dedication and enthusiasm of these groundbreaking paleontologists. These discoveries are not only rare; they also have significant impact on our understanding of dinosaurs. The fossilized Sinosauropteryx, for example, helped confirm the existence of feathered dinosaurs, while a 66-million-year-old preserved heart supports theories of warm-blooded dinosaurs. Each discovery is introduced in a clear and lively style, so youngsters can follow the text without becoming overwhelmed by names, dates, or scientific terms. The layout is inviting, with good use of white space and many full-color photographs and drawings showing dinosaurs, fossils, and the scientists themselves. A brief "paleo-notebook" offers details on 10 other key dinosaur mummies. The current data and intriguing focus should make this a popular and valuable addition to dinosaur shelves.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsDespite some minor bobbles, young dinosaur fans will latch onto this heavily illustrated report like starving velociraptors at a picnic. The indefatigably enthusiastic Halls writes with two purposes in mind: to recount the discoveries and natures of dinosaur fossils that include not just bones, but remnants of "skin, hearts, muscles and goop-filled stomachs"-not to mention feathers and a variety of less durable tissues; and to introduce many of the paleontologists who have made, or are making, those discoveries. She highlights six finds in particular, but mentions many more, nearly all of which get at least one photo, and closes with enough references to relevant books, videos, DVDs, Web sites, and public "digs" to satisfy the most demanding dinophile. Spears supplements the photos with cartoon scenes of reconstructed specimens, and Carpenter contributes an essay on the importance of the just-discovered duckbill dubbed "Leonardo." Though two photos are repeated and the portrait gallery of scientists is capped with a profile of eminent specialist Dr. Karen Chin, in which she's labeled "a girl who loves digging up dinosaur doo doo," this is definitely a must, as useful as it is entertaining. (Nonfiction. 10-13)
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