Two Dozen Dinosaurs: A First Book of Dinosaur Facts, Mysteries, Games and Fun
Laurence Steven is Chairman of the English Department at Laurentian
University and author of Dissociation and Wholeness in Patrick White’s
This is an entertaining and informative book targeted mainly at children
ages 7-10, though others both younger and older will find it a
fascinating trip into the real world of the dinosaurs, who lived
millions of years ago.
Through a mix of text, illustrations, and activities, Ripley spotlights
24 kinds of dinosaur. While the text discusses each dinosaur’s
individual characteristics (for example, what they ate, and how big they
were in relation to us), diagrams and colorful pictures provide helpful
counterpoint. There are also many little games, mazes, and puzzles that
will hold a child’s attention for quite a spell. The book contains a
wide variety of information that most children, and some adults, would
not know readily. For example, how many readers know that a
Compsognathus was a dinosaur about the size of a rooster?
Most of the text in the book is direct and easy to understand, although
the section titles (which are written in a simulated hieroglyphic
script) might cause recognition problems. This book would be excellent
for children in the home or in the classroom. Unfortunately, it may not
be appropriate for a public library, because its presentation invites
children to interact; they will want to write answers, or follow mazes.
(Librarians might be a little nervous seeing the children wielding
pencils.) Yet the book would be an appropriate initial aid for school
projects, so elementary-school librarians might want to take the risk.
All in all, Two Dozen Dinosaurs is an excellent effort.