Prehistoric Actual Size

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What is it like to come face-to-face with the ten-foot-tall terror bird? Or stare into the mouth of the largest meat eater ever to walk the earth? Can you imagine a millipede that is more than six feet long, or a dinosaur smaller than a chicken? In this “actual size” look at the prehistoric world, which includes two dramatic gatefolds, you’ll meet these awe-inspiring creatures, as well as many others.

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Prehistoric Actual Size

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What is it like to come face-to-face with the ten-foot-tall terror bird? Or stare into the mouth of the largest meat eater ever to walk the earth? Can you imagine a millipede that is more than six feet long, or a dinosaur smaller than a chicken? In this “actual size” look at the prehistoric world, which includes two dramatic gatefolds, you’ll meet these awe-inspiring creatures, as well as many others.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
What would it be like to come face-to-face with a ten-foot-tall flying dinosaur? Can you imagine encountering a millipede that is more than six feet long? In the dramatic gatefolds of Prehistoric Actual Size, dinosaurs are presented full-scale, thus giving young readers a real-world sense of these majestic and truly scary creatures.
Publishers Weekly
In a follow-up to Actual Size that is sure to gladden the hearts of dinosaur fans, Prehistoric Actual Size by Steve Jenkins uses the same format and his dazzling cut-paper collage artwork to present facts about early creatures on land and sea, from as large as a Velociraptor to the still everpresent cockroach. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Using many illustrations which feature the part for the whole, Jenkins involves dinosaur lovers in the next thinking level. In his signature collage illustration, Jenkins shows in actual sizes a small shark, a horned meat-eating amphibian, part of a dragonfly too big to fit on the page, and on into heads, a giant set of teeth, an astounding claw, and a baby protoceratops being looked upon by his mother's gimlet eye. It invites readers to consider how big things are and, by inference, how we can tell the size from the fragment at hand. Each spread states how many millions of years ago the animal lived and what its actual size was. The payoff for older readers is the 4-page back matter in which each animal depicted gets a full picture—although not to scale—and a paragraph about it. While younger readers will surely love this book, it seems to belong in an slightly older age group. 2005, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 7 to 10.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 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 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Following hot on the heels of Actual Size (2004), the author's presentation of relative size in modern animals, is this exploration of size from the beginning of life to about 3 million years ago. Aside from the introductory and concluding animals, he presents creatures chronologically from the most ancient to the most modern, taking care to display representatives of the various divisions of the animal kingdom. Readers will see a one-millimeter dot representing a protozoan, the front third of a two-meter long millipede and a terrifying close-up of the teeth of the 14-meter-long Giganotosaurus, as well as various other critters. Jenkins's usual stellar collages deliver the usual spectacular goods, depicting slimy skin and feathers with equal ease. The brief gloss for each animal-including when it lived and its size in both English and metric figures-is supplemented by backmatter that goes into greater depth; there is also a paragraph explaining how the artist arrived at the colors and textures he uses. A metric ruler on the back complements the English ruler on the front flyleaf, so budding scientists can measure both ways. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-12)
From the Publisher

"Children fascinated by Jenkins' vibrant cut-paper artwork in Actual Size won't want to miss this similiar oversize album of prehistoric creatures that range from tiny to enormous." —Booklist, starred Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"Stunning paper collage illustrations provide artistic interpretations of what each animal may have looked like." -Horn Book, starred Horn Book, Starred

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618535781
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 36
  • Sales rank: 709,607
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: IG1130L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Jenkins has written and illustrated many nonfiction picture books for young readers, including the Caldecott Honor-winning What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? His books have been called stunning, eye-popping, inventive, gorgeous, masterful, extraordinary, playful, irresistible, compelling, engaging, accessible, glorious, and informative. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and frequent collaborator, Robin Page, and their children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating, if a bit unsettling

    Reading this book to my daughter, I found myself placing my hands on the page very carefully, lest I snag my finger on a Baryonyx claw or accidentally touch the Very Large Cockroach. It's not that the illustrations are so terribly life-like. They are clearly pictures. It's just that the effect of seeing these creatures, or in most cases, bits of these creatures, at actual size is so startling. As I type this, I am cringing away from a millipede larger than my computer.

    Sure, the view from within a Giganotosaurus mouth is striking, but it's the pictures of the creepy crawlies that get to me the most. Dinosaurs are supposed to be huge. Dragonflies have no business being larger than my cat.

    And once you start thinking about the actual sizes of these things, it's hard to stop. We have a private airport in our town, which means we often see small planes flying just overhead. A few days after reading this book, I spotted a biplane through the moon roof of my car, and for a moment, imagined it was a Quetzalcoatlus, a flying pterosaur with a wingspan of some 35 feet. Unsettling. But if you (or your preschooler) are fascinated with dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, an awful lot of fun.

    (Review originally posted at my blog-- Caterpickles: Scientific & Linguistic Engagement with a 4 Year Old Mind)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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