What Is a Dinosaur?


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-86505-921-7
DDC j567.9




Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


What Is a Dinosaur? is the latest addition to Crabtree’s Science of
Living Things series. Like its predecessors, the new book combines
clear, concise text with bright colorful illustrations in an
easy-to-read format. Publisher Bobbie Kalman and Managing Editor Niki
Walker supplied the text. Illustration is provided by a team of several
artists and photographers.

One of the more helpful features in this book are page links that allow
readers to jump forward to relevant pages later in the text. It would be
helpful, however, if the text also provided page links that referred
backward so that when readers are told on page 23 that “some
scientists believe that pachycephalosaurs belong with the
marginocephalians, whereas others think that they were more closely
related to the ornithopods,” they would not have to hunt for the
authors’ earlier explanation of the difference between the
margin-o-things and the orni-o-whatsits.

But such is the eye-appeal of What Is a Dinosaur? that few readers will
resent having to wander back and forth through its beautiful pages. It
is obvious that every illustration or photograph was selected for its
high-interest value. There are no wasted words in the text; every
sentence is informative and imparts often highly challenging information
without a struggle. Words that might be new to young readers are
highlighted in the text. A glossary and an index are included at the
back of the book for easy reference. Highly recommended.


Kalman, Bobbie, and Niki Walker., “What Is a Dinosaur?,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/18775.