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Dinosaur Facts

The books on this page are all packed with real dinosaur facts. If you're looking for stories which feature dinosaurs (real and imaginary), try our dinosaur stories page.

Prehistoric Actual Size
by Steve Jenkins
(Frances Lincoln)
This book, illustrated in collage style, attempts to show on the page what prehistoric animals may have looked like, true to scale. This is easy when it’s a spiny shark only eight centimetres long or a sixty nine centimetre wingspan dragonfly, but squeezing the 14 metre long Giganotosaurus onto a double page spread means there is only room for an array of some of its teeth. The use of triple and quadruple fold-outs give more room for Jenkins’ impressive art work. The Saltopus running across the pages is particularly striking and so is the beak, head and neck of a flying reptile.
There is additional information including a mini representation of each of the creatures, as well as an explanation of how the artist used fossil records and scientific deductions based on their lives and probable habitats to decide what they looked like.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom
(Frances Lincoln - in association with the Natural History Museum)
This features ten dinosaurs, each having a double spread within which the creature – illustrated in watercolour- introduces itself with a rhyme telling of its dietary habits alongside which is an inset of additional information including name pronunciation, size and geological dating. The book also includes a time line and glossary. A fascinating book for young addicts and one that could well kindle an interest in those new to the subject.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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by Professor Potts
(David Fickling Books)
Professor Potts takes readers through the detective work required to reconstruct dinosaur bones and work out how they may have appeared in the flesh all those millions of years ago. He also tackles the questions for which we still have no certain answers like: ‘What colour were they?’ and ‘What was their world like?’As well as exploring colour in prehistoric times, the book leads us to a realisation of the importance of colour no matter what the era.
An altogether absorbing book whether or not you are a dinosaur addict.
(reviewed by Jill Bennett)
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If Dinosaurs were Alive Today
by Dougal Dixon
(Tick Tock)
This book cleverly inserts dinosaurs into real photographs - a technique which gives an stunningly clear idea of their size. So a Coelophyisis is scavenging in a dustbin with a fox, a Styracosaurus is head to head with a white rhinoceros and a Ceratosaurus is being attacked by lions. There's plenty of information to accompany the dramatic illustrations, with fact files on all the species shown as well as plenty of general dinosaur information. A great choice for dinosaur fans of all ages.
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Dinosaur A-Z
by Simon Mugford, designed by Jo Rigg
(Priddy Books)
As the title suggests, there are 26 dinosaurs in this book - one for each letter of the alphabet. As well as Triceratops and other famous giants, there are many other less well-known ones, including several small dinosaurs. Each one has its own page with a full colour picture and interesting selection of facts, including a pronounciation guide for its name and sketch showing its size in comparison with a human.
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T. Rex
by Vivian French and Alison Bartlett
(Walker Books)
This attractive non-fiction picture book is based on a visit by boy and his grandfather to a ddinosaur museum. Full of fascinating facts about the Tyrannosaurus Rex, it emphasises how much we don't know about dinosaurs and invites readers to think about the unanswered questions themselves.
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Discovering Dinosaurs
by Valerie Wilding
This book for older readers looks at the two people who first discovered that the mysterious fossils found in quarries belonged to giant reptiles that used to roam the world. Gideon Mantell was a country doctor whose hobby of studying fossils grew to dominate his life while Richard Owen was an amibitious scientist determined to take the glory of discovery for himself. This well-researched book successfully ties their two stories together and gives an insight into how they made their discoveries. Aimed at those interested in the history of science rather than those looking for information about dinosaurs.
Ages 12+
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World Atlas of Dinosaurs
by Susanna Davidson, Stephanie Turnbull and Rachel Firth
Don't be misled by the word 'atlas' in the title as this book contains far more than maps. Those that are there show the way the earth changed during the dinosaur era and the distribution of fossils in different countries. The rest of the book is packed with information on the major fossil finds and how scientists have used those discoveries to piece together information on how dinosaurs lived. It's a fascinating book with plenty of full colour illustrations and is a good choice for able readers of any age who want in-depth information on dinosaurs and fossils.
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First Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
by Sam Taplin
This encyclopedia is arranged chronologically instead of alphabetically, taking you from the creation of the earth through the various stages of prehistoric life to the first humans and ending with a look at fossils. Internet links provide access to other well-chosen information on the web, including a guide to pronouncing dinosaur names, but the book can be fully enjoyed without a computer. An index and contents page help you find what you're looking for but the large, full-colour illustrations make it easy to spot the right page just by flicking through the book. The combination of a clear font, simple sentence structure and short paragraphs makes the book accessible to weak readers without dumbing down the content. A good choice for young dinosaur enthusiasts, aged 5+, and for older ones who lack confidence with reading.
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Mr Fossil's Dinosaur Lesson
by Valerie Wilding
(Scholastic Children's Books)
Pickle Hill Primary school is a place where anything can happen and generally does! When Mr Fossil turns up, he takes 5F on a wild, exciting journey through Mesozoic times to discover all about dinosaurs. This is written in an easy-to-read style which belies the amount of information and research given. Children are engrossed in the happenings of 5F and learn about dinosaurs, their habitats, eating habits etc almost by chance. As well as information on dinosaurs, children learn a bit about the history of fossil hunting and absorb much scientific language on the way.
Suitable for any child interested in dinosaurs and likely to appeal to reluctant readers as the text is interspersed with pictures, notes and asides.
(reviewed by Anne Bothwell)
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T.Rex - the dinosaur with the stupid smile
Iguanadon - the dinosaur with the fat bottom
Stegosaurus - the dinosaur with the spiky spine

by Helen Greathead, illustrated by Mike Spoor
As the titles suggest, each of these books looks in detail at one type of dinosaur, including their appearance and lifestyle and how their fossils were discovered. That description sounds rather dry but the books definitely aren't. They provide a great deal of information in a highly accessible way using a small amount of easily read text imaginatively combined with plenty of line drawings. For instance, the size of the dinosaurs is shown by comparing them with modern day objects and children while T Rex's teeth are drawn life size. Full of interesting facts, these are a good choice for dinosaur fans who are also reluctant readers as well as those who are already enthusiastic about books.
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Buy Iguanadon from Amazon
Buy Stegosaurus from Amazon



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