I am a paleontologist and a bit of a purist on books/DVDs I recommend for anyone interested in fossils. Popular books often have many technical errors or oversimplifications that can mislead readers on both subtle details and very broad ideas. Not so in "When Dinos Dawned..." Hannah Bonner's book features an amazing density of wonderful information on the Triassic Period, the first period of the Mesozoic Era when dinosaurs began to rule the Earth.
Bonner features a greater diversity of reptiles and animals from the Triassic than any other popular book for children or adults. The cartoon reconstructions of animals are very accurate and energized. Each and every detail in the book was clearly researched meticulously. Half-shelled turtles, tail-clawed "monkey lizards," toothless crocodile relatives, the very first dinosaurs, and dozens of other beasts are all highlighted. Hilarious comic strips help make sense of the important events at that time. Best of all, the information here will help build an understanding not only of paleontology but of natural history in general. As an introductory text on dinosaurs and fossils, I cannot recommend this book enough.
If you have a young person in your life interested in dinosaurs, prehistoric life, or animals in general, go ahead and buy this book!