Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology by Jonathan Tennant, Vladamir Nikolov and Charlie Simpson
|Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology by Jonathan Tennant, Vladamir Nikolov and Charlie Simpson|
|Category: Children's Non-Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: Denver may have been the last dinosaur, but this will not stop the Palaeontologist brigade finding out all about him as they dig up his bones. Join them in a fun book that combines great facts with paper modelling.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 82||Date: October 2014|
|Publisher: Storey Publishing|
I believe that it is now an established worldwide fact that dinosaurs are awesome. I have checked the latest edition of Nature and it would appear that this is definitely the case. Dinosaurs are without doubt the coolest creatures to have roamed the Earth. Do you know what makes them really great? The fact that that left fabulous fossils and brilliant bones behind. Any kid would love the chance to dig up some old bones and build their own dinosaur.
Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology is a book that allows you to do just this. It is split into two halves; the first is a non-fiction section all about the different periods that the dinosaurs existed. Certain dinosaurs are highlighted in more detail and you are told what they look like and what they ate etc. The added bonus here is that Jonathan Tennant puts into context why this was the case. You are not simply told that a particular dinosaur had a long neck, but you will be told why this is, or shown a comparison with modern animals. This is how modern scientists determine how a creature may have moved and how they may have looked. Comparing something with a long neck to a giraffe will give us an idea of how they managed to stay upright.
All this inside knowledge will put you in good stead for later in the book as the final section is made up of a series of ‘dig sites’ that correspond to the various ages e.g. Jurassic. In these pits contain the remains of twelve different dinosaurs that must be sorted and built. The skeletons come on good quality card and can be popped out of the pages and fitted together. To successfully build the various creatures you will have to revert back to the earlier pages and determine which part belongs to which dinosaur. Here are some bones that show a long neck, haven’t we seen this somewhere before?
Excavate tries to mimic what it is like to have the job of a Palaeontologist and it does it very well. With in-depth information and complex skeletal remains, this is not a book for the very young. Instead it is best suited for the slightly older dinosaur fan; ages 7-11, depending on their reading ability and enjoyment of non-fiction. As a child this would have been the type of book that I would have loved to have used, full of fun facts, but also offering a challenge.
The look and feel of the book is also of a very high quality. It is a good size and the paper is thick enough to sustain plenty of reading and the loss of the back pages as they are removed to be used as dig sites. The illustrations by Vladamir Nikolov are clean and have a nice balance between scientific accuracy and being entertaining to look at. Kudos must also go to Charlie Simpson as illustrator and paper engineer. They have done a wonderful job in creating high quality paper models that fit together excellently.
The combination of information, illustrations and paper modelling makes Excavate a guaranteed winner for a dinosaur mad youth. It never dumbs down the subject, but is not too daunting. It is a perfect book for a child who wants to know more about dinosaurs and may possibly want to work as a Palaeontologist or Archaeologist in the future.
If you are looking for something a little simpler, but still get some interesting dinosaur facts Robert Crowther's Pop up Dinosaur Alphabet by Robert Crowther is an excellent choice. More modern giants can be found in Predators by Steve Backshall, beware!
You can read more book reviews or buy Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology by Jonathan Tennant, Vladamir Nikolov and Charlie Simpson at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Excavate! Dinosaurs: Paper Toy Paleontology by Jonathan Tennant, Vladamir Nikolov and Charlie Simpson at Amazon.com.
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