on 8 January 2012
I bought for a huge dinosaur fan for Christmas. This particular fan has 30-50 dinosaur books and broadly speaking they are all the same - drawn pictures with more or less the same text. This book beats them all by a mile. For a start the images are all computer generated in amazing detail and because the book is huge (about A3 sized), the effect is staggering. The fan in question, who is under 5, actually jumped when on opening the book for the first time they were met with a dinosaur roaring out of the page! There is a healthy mix of the normal facts (e.g. what they ate, when they lived) and lots of information I had never come across before. It is well written and facinating to adults and children alike. I recommend it 100%.
on 8 February 2013
A few thoughts after the purchase and perusal:
- the book is massive. I was warned buy other reviewers and took a measuring tape to see how it would fit. It wouldn't, practically anywhere in my home there isn't a proper shelf for it. Luckily I've got adjustable shelves on racks in one room 40cm deep that will be able to accomodate this massive book after an adjustment. So - I know it has been stated before - be warned, the book is massive. Expect a massive parcel too.
- somebody said the size is like 40-inch tv. To be precise it is exactly the size of 32-inch tv. So if you have one, take look and imagine your tv spread on your table or sofa. You don't read this book in bed or on your knees, it's not possible.
- the original price is supposed to have been 50 quid. The special-price unremovable sticker on the front cover says 25 quid and I got it for around 18 quid, which is already an irresistible bargain. I think 25 quid is the max price I would be willing to pay now that I have examined the content
- the book is beautifully printed, you get nice thick paper, good layout, interesting info, nice pictures, fossil locations, but...
- I am a wee bit disappointed with the pictures after all the accolades regarding the detail and quality. Perhaps my expectations were to high. The pics are very nice indeed but there's this CGI blur to the skin textures that leaves a bit to be desired, just a bit. I mean for this size the pictures could have been printed in more detail. Do I regret the purchase? Absolutely not. I just think the very size of the book makes you want even better quality, but still pics are beautiful.
- there is at least one flaw (perhaps mentioned before): in one size comparison chart a something like 1m-tall dino is bigger than a human, if I remember well. Can't say which because I closed the book without having taken notes on this one.
- another con there are no marine dinos - somebody has already mentioned that. With marine dinos the book would be twice the size and twice the price most probably.
All in all, if you can grab it for around 18-19 quid and you have the room, buy it. If the price is 25 quid - consider it, if it's more, wait for the price to fall:)
I would give 4,5 stars - half a star deducted for the blurry skin textures.
on 12 August 2010
This book is so amazing for both young and old, filled with spectacular pictures and extremely informative. My son has been dinosaur mad since day one and now, years older, he is loving every inch of this book! A wonderful buy and an item that will last as long as a dinosaur!
on 11 November 2015
It is huge, sure, and i suppose it DOES have feathered dromeosaurs, and even a t-rex and tarbosaurus with a feathery crest's, which deserves points. and the art is very provocative, with some images even managing to be very frightening. However, the cg is often very crude, the size comparisons are a complete mess, and the anatomy of several dinosaurs is very wrong. especially the jp 3 spinosaurus. an ok book with several great illustrations, but a lot of problems. still, a lot of childrens books are out there that are far worse. this book is also filled with a lot of information. and it is clearly written for all ages. as said above, some dinosaurs look very creepy, so it might scare some younger kids.but most kids would love it. there is even enough information for adults who are new to dinosaurs.
on 4 June 2012
This is a magnificent book. Some of the smaller dinosaurs are shown life-size, but most of course are not. That doensn't mean the prints are smal though! The prints are huge because the book is huge. Want to know how big it is? When opened (most dinosaurs are printed on two pages) it has the same size as a 40 inch television. And I can assure you, that is big. The information is mostly right, Argentinosaurus wasn't 40 meters, but probably 33-35 meters, and I know this is nitpicking, but isn't 35 meters big enough?
Anyway, great book, perfect for any coffee table, and I guess most people will look at this book for the stunning pictures and not for the written information. And for this price...BUY IT. It will be the surprise of your life.
on 18 May 2012
Although its mere proportions may seem overwhelming at first, they actually make this book so much better! Plentiful in both priceless information and striking imagery at a fair price (Original RRP at £50), this epic volume is presented in a digestible, yet sophisticated manner that will keep both laymen and subject experts coming back for more. Although Giant Marine Reptiles (Pliosauridae, Mosasauridae, Eoichthyosauria, Predator X) aren't covered, one can argue that they are viewed as separate entity from the Dinosaurs. Despite this minor aspect, which may present a disappointment to some, the fact that I couldn't rate this book beyond 5 stars seems to be its main and only flaw - THE Ultimate Dino Reference for both young and old!
I am unashamed to confess to a sudden dinosaur phase at my own cretacious-tertiary boundary (ie 49-50). This was recommended to me by a colleague with children. Frankly I am amased that any child can open this book without some form of mechanical help. It is HUGE and although some note that this is a disadvantage, it adds to the drama and the appeal of the contents. This is a lavishly produced, beautifully made book - the computer generated graphics are state of the art: these glorious beasts glower out at you from black glossy paper. Each geological era is well summarised, and the entry for each specimen is to the point. The book reflects recent speculation on dinosaur posture and the dinosaur-bird link premised on recent fossil finds in China. This may not be new to most of you, but frankly I am still shocked at the prospect of T-Rex having feathers. It is well worth the price and will enlighten many a winter evening, when glass of claret in hand, I shall lean back on my chesterfield and romp through the art work. Someone will have to hold the wine glass though, and obviously turn the pages. My only issue with Brusatte is, of course, his utter conviction over the meteor impact. There is no mention of recent work into vulcanism and the emergence of the Decaan traps, work that has been so influencial on extinction theory generally - but this is a quibble. Latest thinking is that a meteor impact was the coup du grace of already extensive siesmic activity due to mantel pluming and tectonics. BUT. This is a must for all dinosaur enthusiasts. Come and get me T-Rex, you big turkey! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
on 25 April 2016
The hardback version of this book is physically massive - a real 'coffee table' book.
The information within is well written in a less formal manner than many books of this subject matter. It covers both the species being presented (some well known, others I have not seen mentioned outside of this book), and the paleontologists and their activities.
It is the pictures a book like this lives or dies on, and while eye-catching, I found myself feeling dissatisfied; they all seem to be bitmapped 3D computer models, the majority of which are posed on blank backgrounds. The few scenes of more than one animal in an environment are curiously detached - the animals are not interacting with each other or the environment.
My kids (7 and 3) love the book, though, and have to be prised free of it, just don't expect a wonderful work of paleoart.
on 24 February 2014
I guess: the image of the (long-faced) spinosaur was chosen for the front cover because of its prominent part in Jurassic Park III, and it's certainly an arresting image. The book is full of similar digital drawings. They are detailed and 'realistic' (the author acknowledges that there is still a certain amount of guesswork involved in their reconstruction). Nice pictures of dinosaurs. Lots of them. So what more could you want? Well, OK, it does appear that some dinos were feathered, but many viewers' hackles will be raised at the sight of T. Rex with a punk rock hairdo. As mine were. It's the only blot; if you want a big book with hyper-realistic pictures of dinosaurs, buy one of these.
on 14 December 2013
My son is Dino mad. This book is HUGE ( biggest book I've ever seen) but another reason for the thrill of reading it, my 5 year old son loves this book.
He lies across it almost totally submerged in the pictures and makes his own narrations up. Saying that it is quite difficult to read ( because of its size) definitely not a bedtime reading book.
This book is brilliant my son places his dinosaur toys on the pages to match them up, brilliant for getting children to associate pictures to toys and keeps the reading interest.
If you have a dinosaur mad child ( or adult) you won't be disappointed but I warn you this book is HUGE GREAT FUN.