A Dinosaur A Day
Miranda Smith, illustrated by Jenny Wren, Juan Calle, Xuan Le, Max Rambaldi and Olga Baumert
Imagine being able to encounter a different dinosaur, or other prehistoric animal, every day for a whole year. That’s what you can do if you plunge into this prehistoric extravaganza. Herein, after a general introductory spread, you will meet all your favourites such as the fearsome Tyrannosaurus, the club-tailed Ankylosaurus and the plant-eating Triceratops and Diplodocus. You’ll also encounter a great many unfamiliar creatures, some of which have only recently been discovered: I have to admit the majority were new names to me.
One such is Aquilops, one of the beaked dinosaurs. It was a herbivore about the size of a cat with a skull smaller than the hand of a human. Another small herbivore was the Nqwebasaurus (found in what is now Southern Africa) Amazingly so we read, ‘fossils have been found with gastroliths in the stomach – stones it swallowed to help grind up tough plant food,’
As well as dividing the contents by months, the author also uses dinosaur groups – examples are: ‘some of the smallest’, ‘duck-billed dinosaurs’, ‘horn-faced dinosaurs’ and ‘largest of them all’. Surprising to me was that all those included here were herbivorous. One such Antarctosaurus never chewed its food, rather it swallowed plants whole.
Key facts for each dinosaur featured include the period it lived, the family it belonged to, diet, length, weight anywhere remains have been found; and there is also a brief paragraph giving key information ; and helpfully, the backmatter includes a pronunciation guide.
If you have a dinosaur fanatic or a budding palaeontologist in your family then you should definitely get a copy of this book. It’s also one to add to school collections: I envisage it being in much demand especially with KS2 readers.