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Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Life

By Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan
Illustrated by Angela Rizza & Daniel Long
Reviewed by Mia Macrossan

This a really fabulous book about dinosaurs published by Dorling Kindersley. I know there are so many out there but this one is a stand out, it is stunningly beautiful, really informative and written in an engaging conversational style.

I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover but… the  gleaming gold edged pages and the gold on the cover illustrations combined with a deep earthy green make the book look rich and important. It is written by Professor Anusuya Chinsamy -Turan, an expert on the microscopic structure of bones of both prehistoric and modern animals so she knows what she is talking about. This book is an expedition through time – from earliest life forms to plants to land animals. You can read about fearsome fish, gigantic insects and yes, many dinosaurs. You find out what became of them and their descendants and how mammals came to dominate the planet. Finally there is a section on early human relatives and the animals that lived alongside them.

The illustrations are a marvel of colour and detail, using photographs of fossils and drawings – they indeed extend and illuminate the well written text which gives you all the gory details. The  fossil photographs are big, often a whole page or sometimes spread across two pages so a reader can appreciate their details. At the back there is a modified tree of life, a glossary of  terms used, a useful pronunciation guide and an extensive visual guide.

This is a great book not only for a dinosaur enthusiast but  for anyone interested in the history of life on our planet. It is  a book to read again and again and  would be a magnificent present. It should also be in every school library.

DK Children 2021

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