How Big Were Dinosaurs?
by Lita Judge
32 pages; ages 6-9
Roaring Brook Press, 2013
“Stalking, running, stomping, crushing. When we think of dinosaurs we think of huge monsters,” writes Lita Judge. “But how big were dinosaurs REALLY?”
Through text and illustrations, Judge puts dinosaur size into context. A Stegosaurus, she notes, weighed about as much as three cows. But those plates on his back made him look a lot bigger. And Microraptor? That little guys was no bigger than a chicken. Leaellynasaura was nearly as tall as your average Emperor penguin and Velociraptor was only the size of a dog. A large dog, mind you. One of the largest dinosaurs, Argentinosaurus, was as long as four school buses and weighed more than a herd of elephants – but most dinosaurs fell somewhat short of that.
What I like about this book: It’s fun. Judge uses size comparisons to relate cool facts about dinosaurs, and combines creative storytelling with her wonderful illustrations to share authentic information about these ancient reptiles. In her illustrations she places dinosaurs next to modern animals (and cars) to give some perspective on relative sizes, and provides a fold-out chart that compares dinosaurs to each other.
Judge knows her facts; she spent three summers as a teen, volunteering at dinosaur digs. But she also has fun with her illustrations, imbuing her dinos with great expressions and hints of personality. For example: Torosaurus, with a 10-foot skull, is not the sort of beast you could force into the veterinarian’s clinic.
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