CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 17 . . . . April 18, 2008
One of the most appealing aspects of this fact-packed book about modern survivors from the ancient animal world is the entertaining writing style. To set the scene, there’s a brief discussion of how many species have gone extinct during the Earth’s history, along with a chart to show scientific terms for each time period, and how scientific names for animals were developed. Each animal’s history is offered in a possible lifestyle scenario and is compared with its descendant’s life today. Fun Facts (did you know the nine-banded armadillo almost always has quadruplets?) and Family Ties (the beaver may have once had burrowing relatives among the 30 branches of its family) occupy one page each. The book shows how scientific evidence leads to conclusions about habits and behaviors and to reasons for extinction of the animals’ earlier forms.
Interludes – double page spreads placed between chapters – delve deeper into ideas of plate tectonics, mass extinctions, fossils, other clues to the past, why the giant species failed to survive, how fossils are pieced together, to give the whole picture.
Super Crocs & Monster Wings is attractively laid out with bold color backgrounds to set off each section, photos and captioned illustrations, and fact boxes. Since curiosity will no doubt be aroused for the creatures profiled, an extensive list of further reading is included. The lengthy bibliography attests to the thorough research behind this intriguing book.
Gillian Richardson, a freelance writer and former teacher-librarian, lives in BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.