Cover image for When bugs were big, plants were strange, and tetrapods stalked the earth : a cartoon prehistory of life before dinosaurs
Title:
When bugs were big, plants were strange, and tetrapods stalked the earth : a cartoon prehistory of life before dinosaurs
Author:
Bonner, Hannah.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : National Geographic, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
44 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Summary:
Takes a tour of the Earth three hundred and twenty million years ago, during the Paleozoic Era, and investigates the plants and animals found there.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.4 1.0 77311.
ISBN:
9780792263265
Format :
Book

Available:*

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QE725 .B66 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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QE725 .B66 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
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Summary

Summary

A centipede as long as a couch? Trees so tall they touch the clouds? Amphibians changing into reptiles? These are just a few of the amazing life forms detailed in When Bugs Were Big.... This lively new paperback tickles the reader's funny bone while imparting tons of information about the animals, plants, and bugs that lived before the dinosaurs. Children will read "news reports" including a weather forecast from 320 million years ago and an emergency broadcast about the swift extinction that would end the Permian period. As kids peruse Bonner's innovative combination of narrative text, engaging illustrations, hilarious cartoons, maps, charts, and time lines, they will gather lots of valuable scientific information about the amazing creatures that ruled the Earth before the dinosaurs.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-5. The Carboniferous and Permian eras that ended the Paleozoic period (250 million years ago) are presented with verve and humor that don't shortchange the young natural historian's quest for good explanations of the earth's distant past. In spite of the book's subtitle, there's plenty of text. Cartoons are lightly sprinkled throughout an otherwise more traditionally illustrated narrative, but the formats are blended well to provide appropriately factual and hyperbolic information. Descriptions of evolving animal life, climate changes, continental drift, and the formation of elements such as carbon as a natural part of the vegetative life cycle unfold coherently. The use of age-appropriate appendixes (a chart designed to help children keep the vertebrates straight) and familiar reference points (a "seven-foot basketball player" standing next to a very, very tall synchysidendron tree) make this an exemplary curriculum support resource, but kids who dig dinosaurs will read the book purely for pleasure. Let's hope this author-illustrator will decide to present more history for young readers. --Francisca Goldsmith Copyright 2004 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Bonner takes a lighthearted approach to a fascinating topic. The Carboniferous and Permian periods spanned 100 million years or so just before the better-known Mesozoic Era. The author describes many of the unusual plant and animal species from those times in a lively, conversational style. Cartoon illustrations decorate every page. Some of them are strictly informational, but most contain elements of humor as well. The facts and the fun work well together, and it's always clear which is which. In one three-panel strip, for example, two scientists offer legitimate theories regarding possible uses of a shark's (Akmonistion) spiny "turret," while a chef wishes that he could have used that unusual appendage as a cheese grater. Weather reports by well-dressed reptile ancestors, want ads for bug-eating amniotes, and pictures with word balloons are among the other comic features. The more straightforward drawings of the unusual creatures are clear and eye-catching, though not all include estimated size. A useful two-page illustrated time line gives a nice overview. Most of the species details are basic, with more emphasis on how life in general evolved during this time period. Readers also see how climate, geology, and other animals effected development. Most dinosaur books include just a page or two of pre-Triassic information, so this title offers valuable subject coverage in an appealing package.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.