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Thunderfeet: Alaska's Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Critters

1 rating: 2.0
A book by Shelley Gill

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Author: Shelley Gill
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Publisher: Paws IV Pub
Date Published: August 01, 1988
1 review about Thunderfeet: Alaska's Dinosaurs and Other...

Thunderfeet - Good book for kids who like dinosaurs

  • Mar 2, 2005
Rating:
+2
Pros: informative, good art, lots of cool dinos

Cons: too much information or younger kids, perhaps a little gory in places.

The Bottom Line: A decent book that can't decide if it's for younger or older kids. However, given the subject matter and colorful art, recommended for your dino-loving child.

Introduction

I've never met a little boy who doesn't like dinosaurs. Perhaps it's the power, perhaps it's the mystery of their former existence. Either way, my son loves dinosaurs, particularly the Tyrannosaurus Rex. So when my wife and I went to Alaska, we picked up a copy of ThunderFeet: Alaska's dinosaurs. This is still one of my son's favorite books.

Story

The story of Thunderfeet isn't really story at all, but more of a documentary. Each page tells the history of a different dinosaur and how it relates to Alaskan history. Towards the end, the book changes direction and talks about the migration and eventual extinction of the dinosaurs. Finally, Thunderfeet talks about the possible connections between animals of today and the dinosaurs of a long gone era.

I don't know if I would say the story is good. I found it too long and complex. Talking about migration habits and land bridges is way too advanced for my 5 year-old son. However, throughout the book, the left page has a large-print poem that talks about something simple while the right page goes into more detailed descriptions. So if parents plan to read this to anyone under 8, I'd suggest sticking to the left side.

What Kids Will Learn

As mentioned above, each page is the story of a different dinosaur. Each page is labeled with the name so I could show my son what each name looks like and he could associate the name with the dinosaur. Beneath each name is the phonetic pronunciation. This is helpful for me since I don't know some of these dinos!

The older kids might be interested in the migration patterns and land bridges, but I doubt it. It seems strangely out of place for a kid's book. In the back is a handy glossary so that if the child (or parent) wants to look something up, the information is readily available.

Artwork

Illustrated by Shannon Cartwright, the art is adequate, but not great. The kids won't complain as the colors are bright and the animals are in dynamic action poses. However, I found the pictures to be flat, two-dimensional, and very stiff. But who cares what I think. My son doesn't care and the art gets the job done.

As a parental warning, there is one picture of the T-rex with his slaughtered prey. The dead dinosaur is belly up with a slashed belly and blood coming out. I wouldn't say it's gory, but could be unpleasant to squeamish kids.

Conclusion

This book tries to be many things and succeeds most of the time. The poetry for the younger kids is great and the art is pretty good. But the more descriptive stuff and the glossary are things I would expect to find in a text book.

Recommended:
Yes

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