Turner, Tracey (text), Russell, Harriet (illus.), Animasaurus, Bloomsbury/Allen & Unwin, Dec 2016, 96pp., $26.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781408884850
This large-sized hardback book has information about 37 prehistoric beasties, from the giant kangaroo to a gigantic millipede. Each double-spread page is illustrated with an artist’s image of the (usually monstrously-sized) creature, surrounded by information about its habits and habitat, and a comparison to an animal from our time line photographed alongside. The bottom of each page has a world map showing the locality of fossils found and a scale drawing of the animal against a fully-grown human. A prehistoric timeline, glossary and index are at the back of the book.
As books about gigantic prehistoric creatures go, this one seems lacklustre. Although colourful, the illustrations are not very detailed, and references to other sources of information for interested readers are absent. Glossary words are listed but aren’t bolded in the main text, as they often are, so that readers know to look them up at the back if they want to. For readers who like to browse, this book will be fine. For those with more of a passion for the past, they may want something with more substance.
Reviewed by Pam Harvey