Prehistoric Beasts by Dr Dean Lomax, illustrated by Mike Love – at a glance
The School Reading Lists’ five word review: short, digestible, attractive and stimulating.
Children’s book title: Prehistoric Beasts.
Children’s author: Dr Dean Lomax.
Children’s illustrator: Mike Love.
Genre: Pop-up nonfiction book.
Published by: Templar Books.
Recommended for children aged: 5+ year-olds.
First published: Hardback March 2023.
This children’s book is ideal for: enthusiastic young hands.
To see the latest price or order, click on the book cover image.
Sadly, there are many areas of life today where older people do not envy the young. But ease of access to information is not one of them.
When I was in my last year or two of primary education, if you wanted trustworthy knowledge about earlier life on the planet, you had to go to all the trouble of getting yourself to a place called a library, filling in forms, taking them home and having them signed by your parents, going back, handing them in … all this before you could get anywhere near the book you wanted. And at the end of all this you found the book to be as dry as dust, with possibly a few line drawings.
Now, anyone can find what they want at the touch of a button on a mobile. And if they want to handle a physical book-object which is attractive and stimulating, they are spoilt for choice.
The makers of this wonderful book have hit on a very good idea: take seven creatures with which most children will be familiar, from stories and films – elephants, sharks, sloths, dragonflies, alligators, penguins and whales – and show, using pictures, short chunky paragraphs and pop-ups, how they developed from their prehistoric ancestors.
First we learn that we’ve been here for only a few seconds, relatively speaking. The ancestry of the life we see around us every day goes back to a time hundred of millions of years before we were even thought of.
Elephants were mammoths, and a huge one rears up, trunk waving menacingly, when we lift the pop-up page. Sharks have hardly changed since the days of the megalodon. Megatheriums have worked tirelessly for centuries to turn themselves into sloths. 300 million years ago, dragonflies were much bigger, the largest known insects to have ever lived. The Deinosuchus, whose descendants are now alligators, had a bite five times more fierce. Penguins were once five feet tall and some ancient whales had four legs and were furry.
All the information here is presented in language a child aged eight to ten will find appropriate and understandable, and in short, digestible sections. There is a lot for a child and adult, sitting together, to digest and elaborate upon. The pop-ups are sturdy and will withstand a lot of yanking about by enthusiastic young hands!
Many thanks to Templar Books for the review copy.
If you like Prehistoric Beasts by Dr Dean Lomax you might also like: our reviews of Britannica All New Children’s Encyclopedia edited by Christopher Lloyd, The Extraordinary Elements by Colin Stuart, Metropolis by Benoit Tardif, The World’s Most Magnificent Machines by David Long, Absolutely Everything by Christopher Lloyd & Earth Shattering Events by Robin Jacobs and Sophie Williams.
Browse our list of books for KS1.