A noteworthy review of Exploring Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures from School Library Journal on February 1, 2005
These books introduce individual species and provide some background about paleontology. Fictionalized scenes open each title, followed by descriptions of the dinosaur’s characteristics and behavior. Next, Gray details the discoveries that led to our knowledge of the species with some biographical information about the key figures involved. While the focus remains on the title creature, the author brings in related bits of information to present different aspects of dinosaur study. A look at the possible uses of Spinosaurus’s sail, for instance, shows how scientists develop and test theories. Each concluding chapter touches on a different general topic, such as how dinosaurs are grouped in Megalosaurus and fossil-hunting trips in Spinosaurus. Most of the illustrations show the featured species in isolation, without other creatures that might have helped readers to comprehend the power of Megalosaurus or the relatively small size of Psittacosaurus. The opening image of Psittacosaurus is a photo of a museum model, which is a poor match for the dramatic scene described on the same page, but for the most part the illustrations work with the texts. These solid offerings should satisfy report writers and browsers.