The creator of Dem Bones digs up another set of rattling fine specimens for this splashy expedition into the world of fossils. A simple poem ("Dinosaurs are gone for good./ Maybe dinosaurs once lived in your neighborhood!") serves as an umbrella framework for a lesson on prehistoric favorites. Each turn of the page pairs a single stanza in hand-lettered type ("Dinosaurs had teeth to bite and jaws to chew") with an accompanying illustration, while a bite-size piece of additional information in smaller type helps extend the book's appeal to older readers ("The shape of the jaws and teeth help scientists find out if a dinosaur was a meat or plant eater"). The snappy, vigorous rhymes ("They had bones with disks and bones with points,/ bones for running with sockets and joints") propel the production forward, while the artwork, a jazzy blend of pen-and-ink, watercolor, cut and torn paper and computer graphics, creates a tantalizing blend of streamlined shapes and saturated colors. Barner shows each spotlighted dinosaur in both skeletal and living form, and two concluding spreads offer more information in a height chart and "dinometer" chart, fleshing out such questions as "What did it eat?" and "What does its footprint look like?" A splendid introduction to a perennially popular subject. Ages 2-8.
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