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Book Review: Dinosaurs (book series) by Matteo Bacchin and Marco Signore

Review by Janet Raloff

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Dinosaurs (Book series) by Matteo Bacchin and Marco Signore Translated by Marguerite Shore

Graphic novels — formerly known as comic books — are getting more respect these days. That may explain why Abbeville Kids has published the first four of what will be a six-part graphic series grounded in science facts but told partially through fiction. Although the large-format books are aimed at young dino aficionados — especially those 9 to 14 years old — the text won’t bore adults.

Each book begins with an introduction by an unconventional narrator: the sun. Explains Sol: “The eons have turned these beings into mute stones and have emptied their chests of breath and warmth, but I bring you testimony of their ancestral time.” Who knew old Sol was so poetic?

Books three and four, released this year, describe the life and times of an Allosaurus and a Scipionyx, a small theropod of the early Cretaceous period. Plateosaurus and Archaeopteryx anchored the first two books, published in 2008.

The sun’s narration breathes life into dino adventures such as hunting, nesting and migration. Roars, rumbles and the occasional “grooooooagh” punctuate the storytelling.

The rest of each volume is more conventional, with amply illustrated text describing  dinosaurs and their ecosystems, how the creatures fossilize and places they’ve been unearthed. The first book comes with a 22-by-29–inch poster illustrating the dinosaur timeline. Expect books five and six some time next year. — Janet Raloff

Abbeville Kids, 2008 and 2009, 61 p., $15.95.


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