LONGLIST REVIEW: Dinosaurs in 30 Seconds

We all find dinosaurs fascinating. Their size, the variety, the way these ancient creatures were (and still are) discovered- all these things make them fascinating. They really were real life monsters! 'Dinosaurs in 30 Seconds' journeys back in time millions of years ago and reveals the facts about the creatures that ruled the earth.

Some lived in swampy forests and toxic lagoons whilst other lived in vast deserts facing deadly sandstorms. This book takes a look at the variety of life that lived in these diverse landscapes and time periods. Thanks to paleontologists we have been able to unearth incredible facts about the lives of these prehistoric creatures and this books compiles this information into 30 second summaries.

There are 30 dinosaur fact topics for lovers of extinct super reptiles. Each topic should take only 30 seconds to read and contains vibrant illustrations, challenges and super quick summaries. Topics are grouped together and have their own glossary of key terminology in order to help the reader better understand the world of palaeontology.

Beginning with evolution and the first dinosaurs and ending with the bird like dinosaurs of the cretaceous period, topics are divided into geological time periods. There are also sections about fossils, dinosaur bones and the palaeontologist who discovered them. It is a fascinating mix which is easy and quick to read.

There are many ways this book could be used in the classroom. Children could be set on a word hunt, using the glossary to find words and write their own definitions.

Writing a precis (Y6 English P of S) is a very hard skill to master. Having a 30 summary offers an excellent example of how this can be done. Children could look at what has been included and discuss why these points have been chosen. Would they have made the same choices? Thy could create their own summaries, like the ones found in each section. Can they makes ones that vary in length? Can they get down to a  10 second or a 5 second summary? How effective are these?

Can each section really be read in 30 seconds? Try timing it to see. Can it still be read effectively or is the reader rushing and the reading becoming less clear? (performing)

Children could write their own glossary, selecting words they feel need to be defined or choose their own dinosaur to write a 30 second summary about.

Dinosaurs in 30 Seconds

30 Fascinating Topics for Dinosaur Detectives Explained in Half a Minute

by Sean Callery, illustrated by Sam Hubbard

Ivy Kids      ISBN: 978-1782403999

You can read another review here.

Discovering Dinosaurs!

Discovering Dinosuars not only allows you to discover information about dinosaurs, but is also about the people who did discover dinosaurs- or their remains!

The book starts by setting the scene for discovery. Fold out pages show maps of the world in the Triassic, Jurassic and Late Cretaceous periods with their changing land masses and the rise adn decline of the creatures who roamed there.

And then the focus is on the different dinosaurs and the people who discovered them.

Velociraptors- discovered in the Gobi Desert by the 'Central Asiatic Expedition' who were not looking for them; Elvisaurus (nicknamed this because its bone crest looked like Elvis's quiff!)- found by William Hammer; the Wild West Bone Wars between rival hunters Othniel Marsha dn Edward Cope... The book is bursting with details about these creatures and those who have deepened our understanding and knowledge of them.

The book is beautifully presented on thick, strong pages made to withstand the hours of use and enjoyment it will receive. Crammed full of fact files, lift-the-flaps, 'notebooks' and an amazing pop-up, there is plenty to discover and enjoy. The pages called 'Tracking Dinosaurs' at the end are particularlu useful for stating some facts very clearly which are often not clearly understood- how fossils are formed, what they can tell us etc.

This will be a great addition to any dinosaur book collection!

Discovering Dinosaurs    by Simon Chapman, illustrated by Rudolf Farkus and Mike Love

Paper engineering by Ania Mochlinska

Bloomsbury Children's     ISBN: 978-1408194614

Dinosaurs- in 30 Seconds!

My son used to love dinosaurs and had an extensive collection of books on the subject. I used to be quite the expert at spotting an Anklyosaurus  or or a Stegosaurus! The beauty of this book is it contains a wealth of information in one smallish volume.

Each spread contains a different area for you to learn about ...in 30 seconds!...with a 3 second summary at the end. Now, I'm not convinced about the timings- there's too much of interest to take in to do so properly at such speed!- but each section does offer a wonderfully concise round-up of the relevant ideas. The illustrations add more information, visually clarifying some points and do not dominate the book.

Glossaries are included at the beginning of each section, making sure that the relevant vocabulary is explained. There are also some '3-minute Missions' to be explored which allow children to 'call like a hadrosaur' or make 'DIY fossils'. The book really is packed with plenty to do, plenty to learn and plenty to enjoy!

Dinosaurs in 30 Seconds

30 Fascinating Topics for Dinosaur Detectives Explained in Half a Minute

by Sean Callery, illustrated by Sam Hubbard

Ivy Kids      ISBN: 978-1782403999