Hélène Rajcak (text) and Damien Laverdunt (illustrator), Fossils from Lost Worlds, Walker Books, March 2021, 72 pp., RRP $37.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781776573158
This oversized information book uses graphic visual techniques to encourage children to explore the detailed information and link these to the images on each page. The timeline reconstructions of strange creatures such as a walking whale to the headless sea worm to the gentle diplodocus have a stylish finish with the combination of ink line drawings and an earthy colour palette. The text is a mix of facts and humour with a sprinkle of scientific names in the mix. It also delves into the work of palaeontologists – from fossil finding to the reconstruction of dinosaur skeletons where they sit in museums today.
Fossils From Lost Worlds has the appeal of an early childhood read. However, due to the complexity of language and concepts, this exquisitely crafted book is pitched at 7-11 year olds with an interest in fossils and dinosaurs. This is a book that could be read cover to cover or flipped open to a random page allowing a child to focus on learning about one fossil from the past.
Reviewed by Stef Gemmill