Nonfiction Monday: Dinosaur Delights

Three books on dinosaurs were nominated for the CYBILS NFPB category.  Each one takes a different approach on the topic.  Dinosaurs are a known hits with readers.

Dinosaurs?! by Lila Prap takes a look at dinosaurs with the guiding question, “Did chickens descend from dinosaurs?”  Big and little chickens are in disbelief at the book’s beginning. Questions aplenty are listed in speech boxes.  Each two page spread begins with a statement such as ” the Word “Dinosaur” Means “Terrible Lizard.” It’s followed by an illustration of a specific dinosaur which is surrounded by text boxes giving specific information about the dinosaur and how the history of digging up bones.  the chickens are in the borders as well with questions and comments such as “Why didn’t they call them TERRIBLE CHICKENS if they are our ancestors?”, “These are not my ancestors! We never has any such strange-looking types in our family.”  The chickens are humorous.  The end pages of the book have a great flow chart that shows how chickens evolved from the dinosaur. The illustrations are bold, strong, anc colorful. It’s a clever take on a popular subject and also introduces young readers to the idea of present day animals evolving from dinosaurs.

Born to be Giants; How Baby Dinosaurs Grew to Rule the World by Lita Judge looks at this topic through the lens of  what were dinosaurs like as babies.  The text is bound to grab readers at all levels who are fascinated by dinosaurs.   Based on findings at many dinosaur digs, readers find out that Psittacosaurus couldn’t leave their babies unguarded for a moment, that the Maiasuara fed their babies, and the Troodon probably lived in packs and learned to hunt through play. The book ends with a timeline, more information about the dinosaurs in the book (which many were new to me), a glossary, bibliography, and author’s note.  Readers will be able to tell that the author is passionate about the subject matter.

Dinosaur Mountain: Digging in the the Jurassic Age by Deborah Kogan Ray gives readers a bird’s-eye view of the history of  digging up dinosaur bones. Did you know that there were the “Bone Wars” in the 1800’s?   In particular, Earl Douglass began to survey the entire Morrison Formation which covered almost all of Colorado and Wyoming and the neighboring states.  The book focuses on Douglass’ life long adventure in to the world of dinosaur digging.  Andrew Carnegie played a significant role in funding the excavations.  The text, with an inset text boxes full of timelines and other information and illustrations which capture the vastness of such a project helped to create a captivating book.  Ray has also provided a map showing the extend of the dinosaur digs, further information about Earl Douglass, and Andrew Carnegie along with a glossary and bibliography.

Three books for dinosaur lovers of all ages. 

The wonderful Shirley Duke is hosting Nonfiction Monday today.  Head over to see the other great choices in nonfiction.

Happy Reading.  For all of your who celebrate Christmas, may yours be very merry.




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