School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-9-These rather pedestrian texts cover a variety of topics-origin and evolution, physiology, extinction, major discoveries-and material unique to the group in focus-armor, spikes, and plates, for example, or the evolution of feathered dinosaurs into birds. Each volume begins with a fictitious vignette, using current scientific knowledge to set the scene. Immediately following, the text is arranged almost identically from volume to volume, including time lines, charts, and illustrations, which is sure to give readers of the entire series a strong case of d j vu, but which will not be noticed by those consulting a single title. Small, accurate, pen-and-ink drawings and a scattering of black-and-white photos appear throughout. The data in the chronological "Major Discoveries" chapters includes finds through 1999 and 2000, respectively. Extensive chapter notes lend a strong air of authenticity and there are extensive lists of further reading and Internet addresses (also with multiple overlappings). These books are not for those looking for spectacular illustrations or litanies of saurian nomenclatures to roll trippingly off the tongue, nor are they as dramatically engaging as, say, Christopher Sloan's compelling Feathered Dinosaurs (National Geographic, 2000) or Pat Relf's fine A Dinosaur Named Sue (Scholastic, 2000). However, both titles contain a goodly amount of information in approachable texts. Useful, if utilitarian.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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