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Dino Treasures

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Dino Treasures
By Rhonda Lucas Donald
Illustrated by Cathy Morrison
Arbordale Publishing, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-62855-4502

Reviewed by Richard S. Rodgers - July 17, 2015

Despite being extinct for millions of years, dinosaurs hold a unique place in the imagination of people of all ages, and they pose many questions for scientists. From the fierce Tyrannosaurus rex to the long necked, plant eating Miragaia, we know a lot about these fascinating creatures, but there is still much left to learn about them. In Dino Treasures, author Rhonda Lucas Donald explores the world of paleontology by describing dinosaur's fossilized and trace remains and what scientists have learned from them. Written for young readers, the information in this book is presented in a rhyme-like meter that is both fun to read to yourself, and out loud.

Some of the information covered in this book include ranges from dinosaur facts, such as how we can tell what dinosaurs ate by examining their poop, to making educated guesses about how they lived from the fossilized that have been uncovered. Donald also discusses the difference between fossilized and trace remains, and how modern birds are the descendants of the ancient dinosaurs.

The text in this 32-page children's picture book is accompanied by detailed and colorful illustrations by Cathy Morrison. Many of these illustrations would make wonderful posters! In addition to illustrations of what the dinosaurs mentioned are believed to have looked like, many of the illustrations also show what the fossilized remains of dinosaurs look like.

>From beginning to end, Dino Treasures is not only a fun book to read, but it is also a highly educational book - just don't mention that fact to reluctant readers. Tell them it is a book about dinosaurs and they will devour it - educational bits and all.

Like other books published by Arbordale Publishing, this book also includes a four-page guide for educators and parents that they can work through with the youngsters in their lives. This section includes questions and answers about biology and paleontology, as well as tips on how to 'read' fossilized and trace remains. These tips are aligned with the text of the book. They provide additional insights into the information presented and they serve as a jumping-off point for further discussion into dinosaur history and related topics.

According to annotations listed on the last page of the book, all the information in the book has been verified by scientists. As well, the audience for the book is children in grades K-3, and the book has a Lexil Level score of 660. A Spanish language edition of the book is also available, as are English and Spanish eBook versions. For dino fans, also keep an eye out for Dino Treasures's companion book, Dino Tracks, which was also written by Donald.

Related Reviews:

The Complete Dinosaur, edited by M. K. Brett-Surman, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr., and James O. Farlow.
What do we know about dinosaurs, and how do we know it? How did dinosaurs grow, move, eat, and reproduce? Were they warm-blooded or cold-blooded? These and many more questions are answered in The Complete Dinosaur.

Dino Tracks, by Rhonda Lucas Donald.
Learn about the tracks left behind by dinosaurs, and what scientists can learn from these traces, in this delightful 32-page children's book. This is the first in a two-part series that introduces children to the world of paleontology.

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