Sunday, January 4, 2009

Super Crocs & Monster Wings

Super Crocs & Monster Wings: Modern Animals' Ancient Past. Claire Eamer, Annick Press, 2008.

Super Crocs & Monster Wings had me hooked by the time it offered instructions on "How to Become a Fossil." Because, really, who wants a textbook that sticks to the practical stuff?

Super Crocs looks at the ancestors of contemporary animals like dragonflies, beavers, and ground sloths, and it (metaphorically, of course; the target audience didn't even grow up on Jurassic Park) brings them to life.

Think you understand just how big dragonfly ancestor Meganeura was? Look for the picture of the researcher posed with a life-sized model, and try to imagine that settling on your knee.

There's a surprising amount of information packed into this thin paperback, but the presentation isn't overwhelming. Call-outs, photos, and artists' renderings, all in full color, break up the page without disturbing the flow of the text.

Super Crocs & Monster Wings is a 2008 Cybils Middle Grade/YA Non-Fiction nominee.

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