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on 16 August 2008
For the most part, this book makes a fascinating and highly informative read. It details extinct animals from a wide variety of groups and time periods - the dinosaurs in particular are excellently represented, with almost every known species featured. Other animal groups appear in lesser numbers, but well-known pterosaurs, plesiosaurs and prehistoric mammals all make an appearance. In addition, lesser-known extinct animals are included, such as early amphibians and the mammal-like reptiles.

However, there are a few glaring errors which cannot be overlooked. For example, the nimravids are described as cats, when they were in fact a completely separate family - Nimravidae, as opposed to Felidae (the cat family). Two of the prehistoric whales, Rodhocetus and Basilosaurus, are classified in their information boxes as primates, which is obviously incorrect. One sentence reads: 'It has been accepted for some time that the dinosaurs evolved from birds' - clearly the words 'dinosaurs' and 'birds' are the wrong way round here. There are also numerous spelling errors that one would not expect to see in a scientific book such as this - e.g. yolk spelt 'yoke'.

The problem here is that, once you notice one mistake, you are left wondering how many others you have missed. The end result is that you cannot rely on the information given as being correct. In an educational book such as this every effort should be made to ensure the accuracy of the facts, otherwise those who buy the book in good faith will end up being misinformed - surely the very opposite of the purpose of this kind of publication.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 December 2011
I saw this yesterday at the Natural History Museum in London surrounded by an excited horde of dinosaur enthusiasts with parents or grand-parents in tow; this was a regular venue for us with our children and now it is their children - four and one.

Of all the books there, this seemed comprehensive and detailed with a very wide range of examples and full of detailed information on all 512 pages. It has the look of a real reference book of scientific value rather than a book specifically for children so, for my two, it is an investment in the future not just as a detailed, colourful dinosaur book but just a good quality, hardcover book in this age of digital wizardry. (I am not a technology Luddite - far from it - as I have all the marvellous digital toys beginning with "i" and many others but a good paper book is a treasure. I even have "March of the Dinosaurs" downloaded on this iPad in preparation for the festive season and "Solar System" for myself and Theodore Gray's "The Elements" to come.) Looking through it in the shop, it seemed to have all the modern discoveries too as well as some of the more modern views on some, e.g. Tyrannosaurus Rex being more of a scavenger than a fearsome hunter.

I have not spotted the faults the other reviewer - Lone Wolf - has found but I feel sure the benefits and accuracies outweigh the mistakes and, in that dinosaur frenzy yesterday it was easy to get carried along on the fascination. How lucky we are to have such great institutions on our doorsteps (only fifty-one miles away in our case), a complete set of museums no matter what the interests.
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on 16 June 2009
My daughter loves reference books and so this was a perfect book for her. It's novel sized rather than A4 which I did not expect but is full of illustrations and information. The illustrations are good enough that kids as young as 5 will love it but the descriptions and information are great that it would add to an adult's reference library just as easily.
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on 26 January 2012
Firstly, apologies for the review title.
This compact reference book is excellent and quite superb value. The illustrations are top notch (proper drawn illustrations rather than computer drawn ones)and the commentary very good. It is very well designed. As well as being about dinosaurs it also has ancient amphibians and ancient reptiles and fish as well as prehistoric mammals. Also topics included are things like fossil formation - handy when debating creationists - and habitats. It's equally superb value. I was expecting it to be about £40 or something. I think it would be a very good accompaniment to watching the BBCs "Walking with.." series. That's what I'm going to do.
My boys 8 and 6 loved it - but I kept it for myself because I am a rotter.
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on 3 June 2014
Although there are new discoveries all the time that it is impossible to include and I am not a dinosaur expert so cannot comment on any irregularities or incorrect information which others have commented (perhaps just points of view because who truly knows?) - but let's be honest I don't think it matters and nevertheless this book is extremely comprehensive full of fascinating facts and pretty amazing - it might be a little too technical or conservatively laid out for younger boys (for my 7 year old he loves it) but if any kid is into dinosaurs - he will love this book. I'm an adult and I love this book. I can't imagine any other book covering dinosaurs or animals even so comprehensibly. If they missed anything then it probably wasn't worth including :)

Get this book - your dinosaur loving kids will love it.
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on 4 February 2009
This is a book for young & old to be proud to own & research
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