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Children's LiteratureReaders travel backwards in time to spend a day with feathered dinosaurs in northeastern China. On this journey children will roam the lush landscape with theropods, meat-eating dinosaurs, and their prey; plant eating dinosaurs, and the many insects and fish that make up this prehistoric world. Along the way, readers learn that the Caudipteryx, a small, feathered theropod, eats small stones to help grind food in its stomach. This meat eater has no teeth to help cut up the food it eats. Children will accompany the Sinornithosaurus, a hunting dinosaur, as it tracks and snatches its prey, a small mammal with a long, curvy tail. Under some ferns near a lake, a Microraptor flock feeds on the carcass of a horned dinosaur. At 16 inches long, the Microraptor is the smallest adult dinosaur known. This dinosaur is quite exotic looking, with its broad, feathery yellow legs and green feathered wings. Children will be fascinated with the colorful dinosaurs they meet on the pages of this engaging book. The fossils of these creatures from 124 million years ago are found in the lakebeds of Liaoning, China. The author/illustrator painstakingly recreates this ancient world with meaningful text and vivid pictures. Because feathered dinosaurs and modern birds share more than 100 characteristics, including hollow bones, feathers, and clawed, three-toed feet, he posits that the birds of today are "living, breathing, feathered dinosaurs," and not only the descendants of dinosaurs, as was previously thought. Readers will experience a sense of wonder throughout the pages of this outstanding book. Much scientific information is provided in an age-appropriate and thought provoking way. An index/glossary providessupport for the text. 2004, Charlesbridge Publishing, Ages 7 to 11.
—Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.