Alphasaurs and Other Prehistoric Types by Sharon Werner and Sarah Nelson Forss

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Alphasaurs and Other Prehistoric Types by Sharon Werner and Sarah Nelson Forss

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A brilliant A-Z of imaginatively presented prehistory.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 56 Date: January 2013
Publisher: Blue Apple Books
ISBN: 9781609051938

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I suppose you could describe any book about dinosaurs as being sixty-five million years in the making. What is definite is that this title was certainly not knocked up overnight. After a suitably clever, rhyming introduction, we enter the world of prehistory with A, and exit with Z, having met 27 (yes, there's a surprise guest entrant) animals along the way. And the way we meet them on these supremely clever pages is the selling point.

Just as the creators (for they can never be called just authors) have done twice before, they set before us a panoply of paleontology, with every animal being given either one, or two, or with the aid of large flaps, even more, pages to themselves. Each individual animal is crafted out of an individual letter - a different font each time - with copious letters located just so creating the illustration. It might at times make some of the detail a little hard to grab instantly, but every creature comes across with its own design, and individuality. There's real dazzle to Z, real weight to W, and Kentosaurus, lifting a foot in walking away from us, shows motion.

What's more, for the stickler for accuracy, there is no need for all that idealised, imaginary colouring that dinosaur books have always forcefed us. What's more, we also gain several facts about every creature, each with their own clever little typographic image, resplendent with the relevant letter, thus making them more fun to read and re-read (parasaurolophus preferred to peck pine needles and plant parts from high places).

That's the real enjoyment of this book - with the flaps, trivia notes tucked away into the designs and so on - there is always something more. The pages are full of things to look at, without ever being too busy or cluttered. The craft of the creation is never the be-all-and-end-all, but just adds to the suitable wonder of the page, and as fancy as it would appear, the book is grounded in fact and reality. The die-cut flaps and extras boost the deluxe feel of the book, and with a brilliant balance of picture and word presented with a healthy chutzpah the whole effect could be inspirational - either in getting your young companions to play around with the look of letters in pictures, or in prehistory. Either way it works as a resounding success, and I'm grateful to the publishers for my review copy.

Another book that looks great while working in telling us about prehistory is A Time Traveller's Field Notes and Observations of Dinosaurs by Gordon Volk.

Buy Alphasaurs and Other Prehistoric Types by Sharon Werner and Sarah Nelson Forss at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Alphasaurs and Other Prehistoric Types by Sharon Werner and Sarah Nelson Forss at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Alphasaurs and Other Prehistoric Types by Sharon Werner and Sarah Nelson Forss at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Alphasaurs and Other Prehistoric Types by Sharon Werner and Sarah Nelson Forss at Amazon.com.


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