Dictionary of Dinosaurs: An Illustrated A-Z of Every Dinosaur Ever Discovered does exactly what it says on the cover. The book is nearly 200 pages long, contains over 300 dinosaur profiles, and is packed full of illustrations and facts about every dinosaur you’ve ever heard of, and many more you won’t have. It is recommended for middle-grade readers but younger kids will love looking at the pictures and there’s plenty here for adults to enjoy too.
The very beginning of the book points out that information about dinosaurs changes very frequently and so the facts contained within its pages may soon become incorrect, but as of publication, the book is as accurate as can be hoped for from a book about such a rapidly evolving field of study. The introduction explains what dinosaurs are, when they lived, what we believe caused them to die out, and also briefly discusses fossils. There is also a rough timeline of the dinosaur eras, and a guide to using the book, then it’s on to the dino A-Z.
Dictionary of Dinosaurs contains every dinosaur ever “discovered and verified by a dinosaur expert” as of late 2018 which means hundreds of different dinos are included—there are 41 just in the letter A section! It’s worth pointing out that not every dinosaur has an illustration—there simply wouldn’t be room for that without making the book so huge as to become unwieldy—but all the ones you have heard of will almost certainly be illustrated. Many of the lesser-known dinosaurs have quite minimal entries but each one contains their name with an English translation, average length, diet, along with when and where it lived. The more well-known dinos get a paragraph of further information and there are many diagrams that show them to scale alongside an average human.
Most of the illustrations are simply the dinosaur against a white background, but there are few full-page illustrations that show them in landscapes. These are not realistic illustrations of dinosaurs as we now believe them to have looked, and are instead stylized versions with patterns and unusual colorings with an art style similar to National Parks of the USA which I reviewed earlier this year. I also noted that very few of the dinosaurs were shown with feathers despite current research suggesting that a far larger percentage of dinosaurs were feathered than we ever thought before.
This is a beautiful book that will appeal to dino-loving kids and also to adults looking to brush up on what’s changed in the world of dinosaurs since their own childhood infatuations. It’s ideal for homework help as well thanks to its easy-to-follow and clearly laid out format which makes looking up information simple and fun. An ideal gift for all dino fans and Jurassic World fans looking to learn a bit more about the real history behind the film series.
GeekMom received this book for review purposes.