'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 5 January 2019

Review: Dictionary of Dinosaurs: An A to Z of Every Dinosaur Ever Discovered

The Dictionary of Dinosaurs: An A to Z of Every Dinosaur Ever Discovered is a thoroughly comprehensive book.

Organised alphabetically, as the title suggests, Dictionary of Dinosaurs starts with Aardonyx and Archelousaurus, and works its way through to Zephyrosaurus, Zhuchengtryannus and Zuniceratops.

Try saying those without a pronunciation guide!

There are over 300 dinosaurs included. Surely that's more than most young dinosaur fanatics will know? It's certainly plenty to keep them busy.

Dictionary of Dinosaurs has been carefully designed to make it easy to browse and search, including a special 'how to use this book' page, explaining how information is set out and what's covered.

Each dinosaur is labelled with its name, the meaning of that name, its pronunciation and a really useful, silhouette diagram showing the dinosaur's size relative to an adult human.

I found the meanings of the dinosaur names both informative and fun. They include the Tiny Plunderer (the Microraptor), Different-Teeth Lizard (known as Heterodontosaurus), and Arm Lizard (who we know as the long-necked Brachiosaurus).

There are key facts and figures for each dinosaur: length, diet, where the dinosaur has been found, and what time period it lived. A short summary description is also included, which captures a point of trivia about the dinosaur.

The book's introduction gives some basic information about dinosaurs -- what killed them off, fossils and so on. There's also a timeline to refer to, along with an explanation of how dinosaurs are grouped (armoured dinosaurs etc).

As I said, this dictionary is comprehensive.

Dictionary of Dinosaurs is mid-way between A5 and A4 in size, and has a really study cover. It's eye-catching, with a large, bright and wide eye peering out from the front. 

It's illustrated with simplified, but realistic drawings which give readers a good idea of what all the dinosaurs looked like. And remember, there are more than 300 of them in this book. That's a lot of different drawings.

And a nice little touch is the alphabet lettters as an index, in colour along the edge of the pages.

My one con for the book is that the font is quite small, which for younger children (and perhaps some adults reading with them) is not always going to be easy to read. However, given this is a book more likely to be browsed, rather than read from cover to cover, I think that can be overlooked.

I'm not really into dinosaurs myself, but I do know a little person who is currently a big dinosaur fan, and I know they will absolutely love Dictionary of Dinosaurs: An A to Z of Every Dinosaur Ever Discovered and will spend hours with it.

I highly recommend Dictionary of Dinosaurs.

Title: Dictionary of Dinosaurs: An A to Z of Every Dinosaur Ever Discovered
Editor: Dr Matthew G Baron
Illustrator: Dieter Brown
Publisher: Quarto Group UK, $29.99
Publication Date: September 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781786033284
For ages: 5+
Type: Junior non-fiction