In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More Than 500 Million Years


Readers young and old NEVER get tired of dinosaurs, right? Author David Elliott’s newest picture book, In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More Than 500 Million Years, is one of the reasons why.

In the book, Mr. Elliott uses rhyming free-verse poetry and Haiku-ish verses to tell the curious stories of obscure dinosaurs. There is the Trilobite dinosaur, which looks like a gigantic version of a sea-monkey.There’s the pale-aqua Astraspis, which looks like a tadpole before it grows its legs and loses its tail. There’s also the Dunkleosteus, which looks like part sea lion, part big-mouth bass. This one has razor-sharp teeth and its body is so big it takes up a full spread in the book!

But that’s not all. The Meganeura looks sort of like a radioactive dragonfly; the Dilophosauras looks like it’s poising a brightly-colored solid-bone cap on its head; and the little-known Yutyrannus looks like a tyrannosaurus except that it’s covered in cuddly feathers.

This is a beautifully-illustrated picture book that any dino-lover or budding paleontologist should love to have on his/her bookshelf. Artist Matthew Trueman’s illustrations are big, bold and bursting with color and detail. Author David Elliott’s clever prose delivers everything readers want to know about dinosaurs in rhyme and free-verse. In fact, his writing style makes the prose as rare and curious as the dinosaurs themselves.

Use this book as supplemental reading in your elementary science or history class. It can also be used as “reward reading” for children who finish assignments early.



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