Review: Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures by Emily Hawkins

Book Review: Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures, by Emily Hawkins, illustrated by Lucy Letherland

A large format picture book exploring the ancient lives of dinosaurs and where they roamed on the Earth, broken down into modern-day continents for ease of understanding.


This large format book is wonderful for any children interested in dinosaurs or to get them interested in dinosaurs. It’s recommended for ages 6-9 but could equally well be read to younger children who would, I’m sure, enjoy the illustrations.

This is the second book by Emily Hawkins I have reviewed (read my review of All Aboard the Discovery Express) and her high standard has been maintained. The writing is fluent and informative, providing interesting facts about the world of the dinosaurs, their habits, and why they became extinct. I was surprised to read this was the first children’s book Lucy Letherland has illustrated. Her drawings are colourful, humorous and a little quirky – just what is called for in a book of adventures.

The book is divided into chapters based on today’s continents – North America, Africa, Europe and so on. Each chapter begins with a map detailing the modern countries where the ancient reptiles lived. Then there is a double page with more details and pictures of several of the animals that lived there and we learn more of their habits. Did you know, for example, the Charnosaurus, which lived in north west China 66 million years ago, had a hollow trombone-like crest which was used to trumpet an alarm call, much as elephants do today?

My favourite dinosaur in the book is Leaellynasaura which lived in Australia about 115 million years ago. The illustrations make it look very cute, especially when it is sleeping. It is believed that these small plant eaters, only a metre long, may have built up body fat in summer to survive the winter as Australia was much colder back then. Some palaeontologists think the animal had feathers and wrapped its feathered tail around itself – just as a cat does – to keep warm!

Unusually for a children’s book, the Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures includes an index to enable really keen dinosaur hunters to quickly find information on their favourite beast. I can highly recommend this book.

Reviewed by Jan Kershaw

Rating out of 10:  9

Distributed by: Murdoch Books
Released: November 2017
RRP: $35.00 hardcover


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