Giant Sea Reptiles of the Dinosaur Age
by Caroline Arnold

Price at time of review: $16
40 pp.
Clarion Books
New York, NY
ISBN: 9780618504497

Grade Level: 5-8

Reviewed by CBC Reviewer

This NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book describes giant sea reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic Era from 250 to 65 million years ago. Giant drawings of terrifying water monsters will lure students to the text, and the science they learn will keep them glued to the book.

To meet National Science Education Standards, the text often relates physical characteristics to probable behaviors. Vignettes of fossil hunters like Mary Anning, a self-taught English farm girl, help personalize the research.

This book also tells about the ongoing, challenging work of scientists to excavate, exhibit, and understand these Mesozoic reptiles. Students will learn from the famous error of Edward Cope, who mis-assembled the skeleton of an Elasmosaurus in 1867. Maps and watercolor illustrations add to the text. Motivated middle elementary readers will return to it again and again, yet there are enough details for middle and secondary readers to use it for research.

Review posted on 2/21/2008

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