Gr 2-4-The structure of these three books is similar, with identical words used in some cases. Readers get a brief physical description, some likely behavioral traits, and geographical distribution, along with more general information about modern relatives, fossils, and ice ages. Covering so many topics in such brief texts means that the words don't always flow smoothly. The regular use of "may" indicates our lack of definite knowledge about these species. Calling short-faced bears "powerful predators," though, ignores the strong possibility that they may have been largely scavengers. Each title has only one full illustration of the featured animal. There are several photographs of modern relatives, but most kids will be more interested in seeing what these extinct creatures might have looked like. An assertion that woolly rhinoceros skulls were mistaken as those of dragons or unicorns is accompanied by superfluous illustrations of the mythical beasts, rather than an actual depiction of the skull in question. Despite such flaws, these books work as serviceable introductions, and do fill a need for early elementary readers, though they offer little to engage or extend curiosity beyond the basics.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.