From the Set Exploring Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures
In 1922, a team of scientists endured many hardships while traveling to Mongolia in search of dinosaurs. Readers will reap the benefits of their trials as they learn all about the new dinosaur they discovered there--the Psittacosaurus.
- Cleaning Up
- What Is a Psittacosaurus?
- The Discovery of Psittacosaurus
- Built to Eat Plants
- Psittacosaurus and Its Relatives
- The World of Psittacosaurus
- Did You Know?
- How to Learn More
- The Geologic Time Scale
|Interest Level||Grade 3 - Grade 6|
|Reading Level||Grade 4|
|ATOS Reading Level||5.0|
|Guided Reading Level||T|
|Publisher||The Child's World, Inc.|
|Number of Pages||32|
|Dimensions||7.5 x 9.5|
|Graphics||Full-color photographs, Full-color illustrations|
A noteworthy review of Exploring Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures from Children's Bookwatch on June 1, 2005
Children of all ages have a fascination with dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures that became extinct millions of years ago only to be discovered as fossils today. ‘Exploring Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures’ is an outstanding series (divided into three sets) that combines superb full color artwork depicting these long-lost animals with an informed and informative text written at a fourth grade reading level by Susan H. Gray making them of great interest and accessibility for young readers grades 3 to 8. Each 32-page book highlights a particular animal and includes a table of contents, informative sidebars, and introduction to the author, a glossary of key words and phrases, a ‘kid friendly’ index, suggestions for further study (including websites), and a geologic timeline with key features and creatures. Young readers will learn about the habitats of prehistory and the science of paleontology and fossil hunting. Although each title is available individually ($27.07/$18.95), the complete set of (thirty volumes, $812.10) is recommended and offered to school and community libraries at a substantial discount ($568.50). From the Allosaurus, Velociraptor, Meglasaurus, and Iguanodon, to Trilobites, Saber-Toothed Cats, Mammoths and Mastodons, ‘Exploring Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures’ will prove an enduringly popular library acquisition and would make an ideal Memorial Fund selection.
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.
A noteworthy review of Exploring Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures from Library Media Connection on November 1, 2004
These compact volumes each cover an individual dinosaur. Information is presented in an easily read format, and is written as a student essay might be written. Each volume begins with a brief description of what that dinosaur’s life may have been like, including mealtime, then continues to a physical description of that particular dinosaur. The texts give brief descriptions of fossils, where the particular dinosaur fossil was first discovered and by whom, how plentiful fossils of that particular dinosaur are, and a brief description of the geological period from which that dinosaur comes. Each volume includes a glossary, Did you know? section, geologic time scale section, as well as how to learn more. Having just finished an ancient life unit with students, I found that these volumes would be helpful for those students who ask for dinosaur books. Additional material would be needed for students involved in more in-depth study, but that information is readily available elsewhere. The material in this series is presented in a way that would appeal to both elementary and middle school students, especially older reluctant readers.
Author: Susan H. Gray
Susan Heinrichs Gray holds BS and MS degrees in Zoology from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She also attended the University of Oklahoma in Norman where she studied film production. Mrs. Gray has taught classes in General Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Film Animation, and Graphics for Scientists. She also has worked as a freshwater biologist and scientific illustrator. In her 25 years as a writer, Mrs. Gray has covered a wide range of topics. She has written science books for children, newsletters for business owners, health education materials for patients, and drug reports for pharmaceutical companies. However, she especially enjoys writing nonfiction books for children. This gives her an opportunity to research current events and make them interesting to young readers. Susan enjoys gardening, traveling, and playing the piano. She and her husband, Michael, live in Cabot, Arkansas, with their dog and four cats.