CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 21 . . . . June 23, 2006
The story of the fossil discovery is accompanied by photos of the area, how the bones show up in their rocky resting places, and palaeontologists at work. The account of the actual work is supplemented by inserts with additional information about horned dinosaurs, the Pipestone Creek area, dinosaur graveyards, how fossils are formed, how palaeontologists go about their work, how evidence of dinosaur habits is pieced together and the rationale behind making artificial replicas of heavy bones for permanent display. As loaded with details as the Pipestone Creek bonebed was entangled with bones, these accounts required focused reading from dedicated dinosaur enthusiasts. They are presented alternately with inserts, several of which use a cartoon illustration showing, for example, horned dinosaurs teasing another about his lack of a nose horn, reptiles heading to a resort-like beach after a cold winter, dinosaurs considering snacking on others at a fancy restaurant and a family portrait in a picture frame. This illustrative style may appeal to the younger range of the target audience. It seemed a bit at odds with the dramatic realism of the rest of the book.
As well, there is a six-part fictionalized account of the life of a single Pachyrhinosaurus herd and one young dinosaur in particular. Sophisticated readers can get their fix of dinosaur detail through the more straightforward factual portions, or they can indulge their fantasies in storytelling based on the complexity of information scientists are able to learn from the fossils.
This book is clear evidence that amazing discoveries are part of everyday life for a palaeontologist. It will find a place in a library collection as the latest look at a most popular topic.
A freelance writer and former teacher-librarian, Gillian Richardson lives in BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.