Prehistoric Animals

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Following the age of dinosaurs, mammals became the next dominant species, from which latter-day mammals (including humans) are descended. Cohen focuses on these and smaller creatures of the Cenozoic erae.g., birdsand attempts to give simple but complete descriptions of them, from the ancient opossum to the giant ground sloth, which is said to have been the size of an elephant. The book is almost a series of small articles on each of the animals, so that readers may learn only about those that interest them rather than proceed chronologically. But, after speculating that, with his new discovery of fire, primitive man made some species of animals extinct, the author preaches conservation for the present. That message seems out of place, given the scope of the rest of the material, but does not detract from an otherwise intriguing look at the past. Ages 7-12. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-6 Prehistoric mammals are as varied and as intriguing as dinosaurs, and Cohen, as in his book Dinosaurs (Doubleday, 1987), introduces some of these strange creatures to a young audience. Kids will like the book's large size and realistic, bright pictures; they'll also find it a helpful book for reports, because of its index and its well organized text. However, several minor points detract from the book's overall excellence. One problem is that not all of the animals mentioned are illustrated, a frustrating predicament when the text teases with descriptions of deer with ``horns on their noses'' or other equally intriguing accoutrements. Too, the illustrations have a tendency to homogenize these creatures' anatomical oddities into a watercolor fuzziness. The illustrations in Stidworthy's Mighty Mammals of the Past (Silver Burdett, 1986) and Prehistoric World (Putnam, 1986) by Berger are more accentuated and more detailed. Sadly, a twist of fate has already dated the text; the dusky sparrow, which Cohen mentions as an example of an endangered species, just recently became extinct. In spite of these shortcomings, none of them add up to a big enough reason to reject this otherwise appealing book. Cathryn A. Camper, Minneapolis Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440407874
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/1993
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years

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