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This just released book takes the young reader back in time to when a pack of Deinonychus (a.k.a. "raptor") dinosaurs roamed. The author, Robert T. Bakker is one of the worlds best known dinosaur paleontologists and he is a good story teller. He gets the young reader right into the day in the life of these dinosaurs by describing the sites and sounds and what it was like when this pack singles out their prey. His story telling skills are well appreciated by the public and he again does a good job here. He uses the imagination of the reader to visualize what it must have been like. The reader then can also visualize what it must have been like with the help of excellent illustrations by the award-winning paleo artist Michael Skrepnick who works on restorations and reconstructions of newly described dinosaurs with many well-known dinosaur researchers.
The story woven by Dr. Bakker follows the single day in a life of these raptors as they track a heard of Tenontosaur (plant-eating dinosaurs that weighed about 1200 pounds) and they single out and kill, and devour one that is injured. They then climb up into a tree, falling asleep, and are in turned stalked by the giant predator (acrocanthosaur). He then goes on to explain how scientists study both the rocks, minerals, fossil plants, claws, teeth and bones, as well as modern predators and pray to understand how these "raptors" may have behaved.
By the time the reader is done he or she will have a good idea of how scientists are able to use all the evidence of the fossils (both dinosaurs and plants) along with the rocks to tell a story about how these fascinating creatures may have lived. For young readers in grades 2-4 this book is a must addition to any young dinosaur enthusiast that might be looking for more on these creatures. I have watched Dr. Bakker at meetings and how he engages both adults, and especially children, with his story telling abilities. As a story-teller Bob is able enthrall his audience, and get across to them the knowledge that he has acquired over the years. And in this book the reader will have a good chance to be captured by this story by one of my favorite story-telling paleontologists and acquaintance.
—6/27/03, from DINO RUSS'S LAIR