Discovering dinosaurs by Simon Chapman

cover image

Ill. by Rudolf Farkus and Mike Love. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408194614
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Dinosaurs, Non fiction, Fossils. The spectacularly ferocious image of a Tyrannosaurus Rex on the front cover is a winning invitation to this book with lift the flaps and pop ups about the perennial favourite topic, dinosaurs. I can't imagine too many people, kids and adults alike, moving past this book on the shelf. I picked it up immediately, reveling in the feel of this over-sized hard cover book and its thick pages revealing a host of hidden things telling me more about dinosaurs than I had read for a while.
Any good non fiction book is armed with a contents page, index and glossary and these, apart from an index are offered in this book, teaching young readers how to access information.
An introduction by Simon Chapman gives us the background and readers will love the 'boys own adventure' lifestyle he seems to lead.
The first double page introduces the reader to the time periods under discussion, Triassic, and the lift out flaps on each page reveal the Jurassic and Late Cretaceous periods, placed over a map of the world. Each double page thereafter reveals a different area of the world and the dinosaurs particular to that area. So the first page introduces the reader to where and when the dinosaurs first appeared on earth, followed by the velociraptor, amongst many others. Each double page tells us about the dinosaur with a fact box of all those curious bits of information young children absorb. Some pages have full page illustrations, some have many smaller pictures, some pages have lift the flaps and some have pop outs. It all leads to the last pages, one of which talks about their extinction while the next tells us about fossils and what they show us. All in all a fascinating addition to the range of books about dinosaurs which I am sure will be well read. A forward thinking teacher, parent or librarian might like to show kids how to use it carefully.
Fran Knight