Absolute Expert: Dinosaurs

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Dino-lovers scour the earth for more than just dino bones, they search for great dino books, too — and National Geographic Kids latest installment fits that bill. It is called Absolute Expert, Dinosaurs: All the Latest Facts From the Fields, by paleontologist Steve Brusatte, and it is a dino-lover’s delight.

From the front to the back, this book is chock-full of dinosaur tidbits.

And of course there are signature illustrations of gigantic snarling dinos drooling and tearing the flesh off of other dinos that dare to trespass on their territory. There are explanations of how difficult it must have been to be so huge, and how dinos negotiated their immense weight as they ambled across the landscape.

Children learn how to describe fossils, and they get a first-hand look into the dinosaur family tree. They learn about the world’s first famous dino (Iguanodon), what T. rex’s tiny arms were used for (possibly to balance out the immense weight of its head), and what dino tracks looked like.This book truly has everything. It discusses meat-eaters versus veggie-eaters, winged dinos versus non-winged, and even what came after the dino.

Mr. Brusatte’s prose is fast-paced and moderately accelerated (in other words, young children may need an adult’s assistance to read this one!), and he cleverly include post-like inserts of how he became interested in dinos, where he was when the best-preserved dino was discovered, and the location where some of the last dinos roamed the earth.

This is a busy, meticulous book that very young people may appreciate more for the mixture of eye-popping illustrations and authentic dino-bones photos. Use it for supplemental reading, or to jump-start a conversation about early Earth and global history.

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