Dinosaurs at the Ends of the Earth

Dinosaurs at the Ends of the Earth

by Brian Floca, Dorling Kindersley Publishing Staff
     
 
A mystery, vistas, camels, a sandstorm, and dinosaursÖwhat more could a young dreamer want?

The Gobi Desert, Mongolia: "A land of secrets, " says Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews. He's talking in his jovial way to Walter Granger, a paleontologist, and George Olsen, their assistant, a young man whose surprising discovery made scientific history. Andrews led five

Overview

A mystery, vistas, camels, a sandstorm, and dinosaursÖwhat more could a young dreamer want?

The Gobi Desert, Mongolia: "A land of secrets, " says Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews. He's talking in his jovial way to Walter Granger, a paleontologist, and George Olsen, their assistant, a young man whose surprising discovery made scientific history. Andrews led five expeditions across the Gobi for the American Museum of Natural History. This book chronicles those of 1922 and 1923, when he took with him some twenty men and an unlikely fleet of cars as an alternative to the more traditional camels. Originally expected to unearth signs that man had originated in Asia, these explorations stumbled across an unexpected find. And George did the stumbling-down the Flaming Cliffs near Shabarakh Usu, where dinosaurs roamed eighty million years ago. The find was a delicate egg, heavy as stone now and the answer to an old mystery: Dinosaurs were not born; they were hatched! A route map, a time line, crisp text, and breathtaking pictures present the sequence and excitement of bone-finding and preserving in the field for young readers eighty million years later.

Author Biography: Brian Floca's first book for DK Ink was Five Trucks, of which School Library Journal said, "In expressive watercolor cartoons, Floca introduces and describes the functions of five airport vehiclesÖa perfect explanationÖan eye-opening look." Booklist said in a starred review, "Add this title to your short list of Favorites for Truck Lovers." And The Horn Book said, "Floca's ability to interweave so much story and atmosphere into a concept book is sure to raise your expectations of those to come." The illustrator of Avi's best-selling Poppy and the succeeding "Tales from Dimwood Forest," Mr. Floca lives in New York City.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The dinosaur facts are here, but the real story is the incredible expedition into Mongolia led by Roy Chapman Andrews. It is better than fiction; the heroes are real and the adventures will make kids wish they could become paleontologists, and live in the 1920s. The original mission was to find prehistoric evidence of humans in central Asia, but Andrews and his team found something even more exciting--a trove of dinosaur fossils and the first dinosaur eggs. Each watercolor image spreads across two pages. They reveal the desolation of the Gobi and its enormity. Floca depicts the men at work and tells a bit about the local inhabitants. The vast emptiness makes this discovery even more incredible. The serendipity--a scientist falls down a cliff and discovers a field of fossils--is the stuff of movies. There is even a bit of humor as Floca describes how the men of the expedition were reduced to using their underwear to create casts for the delicate bones before shipping to museums for study. A book that will appeal to kids and many adults. 2000, DK Ink, Ages 5 to 8, $15.95. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-A highly pictorial, fictionalized account of real scientific expeditions led by Roy Chapman Andrews. Under the aegis of the American Museum of Natural History, the goal of the Central Asiatic Expeditions was to discover evidence of human origin in the heart of Mongolia's Gobi Desert, and while no human/hominid fossils were found, what was discovered made global headlines. Floca has braided these marvelous adventures together, focusing on young George Olsen, a new assistant to the Chief Paleontologist, and his discovery of the first clutch of fossilized dinosaur eggs. The author seamlessly weaves events from several expeditions, adds some logical dialogue, and teams the result with bright, realistic watercolors to transport readers across space and time to the vast, arid Gobi and the startling Flaming Cliffs. While purists will carp at the m lange of incidents and the fictional dialogue, this is a worthy introduction to the romantic era of fossil hunting. Ann Bausum's superb Dragon Bones and Dinosaur Eggs (National Geographic, 2000), Margery Facklam's excellent Tracking Dinosaurs in the Gobi (21st Century, 1997), and Mark Norell and Lowell Dingus's riveting A Nest of Dinosaurs (Doubleday, 1999) are all more scientific, but are for a slightly older audience.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
In 1922 Roy Chapman Andrews, noted dinosaur hunter from the Museum of Natural History, and a team of fossil hunters; set off for Outer Mongolia to discover evidence of human origin in Asia. Traveling the road-less Gobi desert by automobile, provisioned by caravans of camels, the paleontologists discovered not human remains, but dinosaurs and the first dinosaur eggs ever found. In this title, Floca (Five Trucks. 1999, etc.) takes the events and discoveries of the Central Asiatic Expedition and creates an `imagined or fictionalized` story. In doing so, he pioneers a new genre: historical science fiction. His writing, laced with actual events, invented dialogue and thoughts of the scientists, captures the quirky personalities of the hunters. But, it is the meticulously drawn watercolors which spark the imagination while enriching the text. Some of the most dramatic pages show the desert camp at night and the minute caravan winding its way through the vast sweep of the Gobi desert. The last page of text provides a time line and an afterward. Flap copy states that the author has done "extensive research for the book," however there is no evidence or documentation to that effect. Difficult to place, since it is cataloged in nonfiction, but is filled with fiction, this will appeal to dinosaur fans willing to accept made-up conversations because the story is a compelling one. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780789425393
Publisher:
DK Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
02/15/2000
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.18(w) x 10.72(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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