cover image Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs

Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs

Matthew Reinhart, Robert Clarke Sabuda, . . Candlewick, $26.99 (12pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-2228-2

Paper engineers Sabuda (Winter's Tale , reviewed above) and Reinhart, who teamed up for The Movable Mother Goose , have a go at dinosaurs in this playful and edifying pop-up. It can be tough to concentrate on the Mesozoic Era, or on the skeletal differences between saurischians and ornithischians, with black-and-green velociraptors jumping from page gutters, a blue-green brachiosaurus towering overhead or pachycepalosaurs ("the original headbangers," with extra-bony skulls) lurking behind gatefolds. The coauthors imagine the dinosaurs as multicolored creatures, and their gecko-to-iguana-size models come in a rainbow of sky blues, rusty reddish browns, canary yellows and speckled foresty greens. In one alarming spread, an iron-red Tyrannosaurus rex with yellow teeth reaches out to nip the unsuspecting reader on the nose; this spread's lift-the-flap extras, hard to reach with T. rex's jaws in the way, include an ochre-yellow allosaurus ripping a bloody hunk of flesh from an unfortunate green herbivore. Yet for all these bells and whistles, the coauthors balance the lively 3D material with sidebars on extinction, paleontologists' discoveries (and mistakes) and practical details (stegosaurus's armor plates were "bigger than cafeteria trays"; diplodocus was "as long as two school buses"). With so many layers and moving paper parts—watercolored on all sides—readers may begin to feel like paleontologists unearthing fossils. Dino fans won't be disappointed. Ages 5-up. (Aug.)