Book Review: Forgotten Beasts

Forgotten Beasts by Matt Sewell
Forgotten Beasts 
by Matt Sewell

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This beautifully illustrated book teaches about extinct animals from the ancient past. There are no monstrous lizards or dinosaurs in this book. This is all about other types of mammals, birds, and sea creatures who once roamed the earth. Some are familiar to us, like the woolly mammoth and the sabre-toothed tiger, but most are impressively rare and wild-looking.

The illustrations are soft and colorful, with a gentle and silky style. But I wish there were more detail in the illustrations, and I wish that there were more drawings of each animal. It would have been interesting to compare the bone structure of fossils to the artist’s rendition of fur, feathers, and scales. It is very beautiful, but I was hoping for more detail.

As always with these sort of scientific books, I’m put off by the assumption of theories and dates that have not been proven. The author writes about millions of years, as though those dates were established scientific fact. The theory of evolution is also discussed as though it were fact and not theory. It makes me lose confidence in the veracity of the writing when ideas that are not proven are written about as if they were true.
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Picture Book Review: If DaVinci Painted a Dinosaur

If da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur by Amy Newbold
If da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur 
by Amy Newbold (Author), Greg Newbold (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This hilarious book poses the question, What would it look like if various famous artists had painted dinosaurs? The results are dancing ballerina dinosaurs in the style of Degas, Dino Noodle Soup a la Andy Warhol, a Frida Kahlo dinosaur, dinos in Mary Cassatt’s garden, jazz band dinosaurs in Aaron Douglas’ style, and of course, the incomparable Dino Mona Lisa!

Throughout the story, a little hamster/gerbil artist appears on each page with a paintbrush, chalk, crayon, or scissors in hand… um… paw. He guides us through the various art styles, and discovers a new friend at the end of the book. His expressions are so cute, and he adds a little flair to the story!
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