RICHARDS, Kel (text) Glen Singleton (illus.) Big Book of Aussie Dinosaurs Scholastic, 2014 23pp $15.99 pbk ISBN 9781742830568 SCIS 1663754
This book of facts and fun has everything you have ever wanted to know about when dinosaurs ruled Australia. The dinosaurs are there as lively illustrations in ink and wash. The text comes in small paragraphs that often end in an exclamation mark, because, yes, dinosaur facts can be surprising and exciting. Size is an important dimension to get right when thinking about dinosaurs, and they did come in all sizes. Their eating habits are essential knowledge too. Then comes armour, speed, and what sounds they might have made. There were dinosaurs in the sea too, and in the air, as we know, and each one has a name to challenge the young mouth to get its lips and tongue around. The fact that these creatures (‘terrible lizards’) survived for 110 million years on all continents of the planet, should perhaps be the most impressive achievement of the dinosaurs because it is looking more and more possible that the human species, the planet’s newest dominant life form, won’t last for a tenth of that time, and not because a meteor is on its way to collide with the planet. This books is a lot of fun, its big and colourful, durable and bendable, and might be just the thing for a child who is discovering an enthusiasm for all things saurus. Recommended from 3 to 6 years old.
reviewed by Kevin Brophy