Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Greatest Dinosaur Ever

The Greatest Dinosaur Ever
by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrated by Gennady Spirin
Henry Holt, 2013. Unpaged. Nonfiction

     One thing youngsters can mostly agree on:  there can never be too many dinosaur books. Brenda Guiberson and Gennady Spirin's latest is a case in point. From beginning to end, this richly illustrated text is a running argument among the dinosaurs themselves as to who is the greatest. Naturally Spinosaurus thinks he is the greatest because he was the longest carnivore; Tyrannosaurus Rex begs to differ, as does Therizinosaurus (THER-ih-ZIN-oh-SORE-us), who had "weird, gigantic arms and could cut down plants with [his] three-foot-long-claws." Troodon, Leaellynasaura (certainly the hardest to pronounce name among the dinosaurs) and Archaeopteryx make a case for themselves, as does Oviraptor, for being the best mother amongst the dinosaurs. In the end, the greatest dinosaur ever was . . . wait--you get to choose for yourself! Gennady Spirin's finely detailed and evocative pictures give Guiberson's text flesh--even if it is that lizardy, scaly stuff.  A fine addition to the dinosaur canon, which adults may like as much as their children.

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