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Plateosaurus and Other Desert Dinosaurs
This title covers these subjects: Dinosaurs., Desert animals., Velociraptor.
Plateosaurus and Other Desert Dinosaurs
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Reviewed Titles Capstone Interactive Accelerated Reader

Plateosaurus and Other Desert Dinosaurs

In the dry sand dunes and dust, these desert dinosaurs ate insects, plants, and sometimes, each other. Find out how these animals survived, and what they had in common with today's creatures.

Reading LevelGrades K-3
Interest LevelGrades K-3
Lexile LevelIG660L
ATOS Level3.7
AR Points0.5
AR Quiz #80786
PublisherPicture Window Books
Page Count24
Capstone Interactive eBook
List Price: $53.32 School/Library Price



Science Books & Films

"Each book of this series concentrates on a different habitat and the dinosaurs that lived there. A short sentence or two specifies the kind of place and is followed by a two-page spread in very simple terms and presents a scene with some of the dinosaurs. A set of eight dinosaurs, arranged alphabetically, follows on a two-page spread for each. Information given for each animal includes a pronunciation guide, a snapshot comparison with a living animal, a silhouette size indicator and a full-page scene with the dinosaur in action. The text is simple and the illustrations are lively and imaginative. At the end of each book is a standard page about extinction, a glossary, references to other books, a suggested Web site, and an index. Geological-time information and the geographic place of the dinosaur’s discovery are not included for any of the dinosaurs. In many schools, dinosaurs no longer are explicitly mentioned in the curriculum; but young students are still fascinated by them. Teachers may want to take advantage of the enthusiasm that dinosaurs generate in the students and still struggle to find a place for them. These books fit in nicely with two of the benchmarks presented in AAAS’s Project 2061, Benchmarks in Science Literacy, which forms the base for school science standards in many states. One standard (5F/1) emphasizes how animals are adapted to different kinds of places. This is the basic concept of the whole series, as applied to dinosaurs. It’s a good idea, but a few cautions are required. First, Mesozoic environments were probably not equivalent to modern ones in many cases: Mesozoic forests browsed by sauropod dinosaurs had to be quite different from any modern counterpart. Also, climatic conditions were probably much different, too: “Cold places” may have been touched by frost and suffered seasonal darkness near the poles, but were not likely to have sustained deep snow and prolonged temperatures below freezing. And don’t make the mistake of equating “plains” with grasslands: Grasses weren’t around yet! Another benchmark (5F/2) refers to making comparisons between fossils and living organisms. Every presentation of a dinosaur in these books includes a small snapshot of a modern animal, with a brief comparison to a specific adaptation. Some are simple and obvious: “Tigers are large fierce hunters like [sic] the Carcharodontosaurus was long ago” (p. 6, Plateosaurus and Other Desert Dinosaurs). Others are somewhat speculative: an illustration showing Corythosaurus soaking “in the forest swamp to cool off,” together with a snapshot of a hippopotamus—“Hippopotamuses cool off in water like [sic] Corhythosaurus did long ago” (pp. 8, 9, Deltradomeus and Other Shoreline Dinosaurs). The books have a tendency, for the sake of the concept illustrated, to present speculation as fact, putting both on the same page. That Ouranosaurus apparently had a large fin on its back, and the fin could have been very colorful, is presented first, and correctly, as a possibility. But on the same page, the comparison with a modern animal presents that possibility as fact: “The peacock has a colorful tail like [sic] Ouranosaurus did long ago” (p. 10, Plateosaurus and Other Desert Dinosaurs). Overall, this series of books provides a different way of looking at dinosaurs at a very simple level, as long as the cautions are noted. The illustrations make the series even more valuable; it’s always great to see new presentations of these fascinating animals. The price per book is a little high and would make the purchase of the entire series a major investment." - Science Books & Films

April 1, 2005

Dougal Dixon

Dougal Dixon

Dougal Dixon has written more than 120 books, including many on dinosaurs, fossils, and Earth science subjects. Since 1980, Dougal has been a full-time freelance writer and editor. He enjoys researching out in the field. In 2004, he spent time in Montana excavating a Stegosaurus skeleton. His books have won the Times Educational Supplement, Primary School Book Award for Science in 1996, the Helen Roney Sattler Award from the Dinosaur Society in 1993, and the Educational Press Association of America Distinguished Achievement Award in 1993. Dougal lives in Wareham in Dorset, England, with his wife Jean. He has two children, Gavin and Lindsay.

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