Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Science Comics: Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers. A Pictorial Book Review.

As the father of three young kids, it’s not unusual for me to be spotted relaxing in the children’s section of our local bookstore. Where else can a busy parent go these days to find a coffee, and a much-needed mental break?! 

My last visit however was spent in a slightly different fashion, reading dinosaur books to a small (no pun intended!), but attentive audience. Browsing the stores selection, I was able to find the usual assortment of picture and pop-up books, as well as a variety of large format identification guides.

One of the books that clearly caught my attention was named; Science Comics. Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers (2016) by MK Reed and Joe Flood, which nicely combines scientific content with attractive and engaging illustrations. 

Science Comics. Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers by MK Reed and Joe Flood
Photo Credit: Paul Cianfaglione
https://avianmusing.blogspot.com/
An essential history lesson in comic strip style, I couldn’t help but notice how similar both the storyline and cast of characters were in this volume, in comparison to other science books on the topic of bird origins.

MK Reed does an outstanding job of presenting the facts in chronological order, rarely overlooking key historical points. By not jumping the gun on today’s feathered raptors, Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers is able to provide young readers with a flowing, easy to understand link between the study of dinosaurs and modern-day birds. 

Science Comics. Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers by MK Reed and Joe Flood
Photo Credit: Paul Cianfaglione
https://avianmusing.blogspot.com/
Young readers will also be introduced to some lesser known figures through a series of important events such as the 1800’s Bone Wars, the discovery of Archaeopteryx, expeditions into the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, right up to the finding of Sinosauropteryx, a small theropod with feathers uncovered in China in 1996.

Science Comics. Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers by MK Reed and Joe Flood
Photo Credit: Paul Cianfaglione
https://avianmusing.blogspot.com/
How special was it for me to see the likes of Richard Owen, Georges Cuvier, Thomas Huxley, Othniel Marsh, Edward Drinker Cope, Franz Nopcsa, Roy Chapman Andrews and Jack Horner, as comic book heroes and villains! 

Science Comics. Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers by MK Reed and Joe Flood
Photo Credit: Paul Cianfaglione
 https://avianmusing.blogspot.com/
Written primarily for children ages 8 to 12, Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers touches upon other important topics like continental drift, soft tissue in bone, eggs and nests, the K-T boundary, and of course, feathered dinosaurs. Incredibly, at no point during the course of this comic book does the author waver from delivering accurate educational material. Very well done in my opinion. 

Science Comics. Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers by MK Reed and Joe Flood
Photo Credit: Paul Cianfaglione
https://avianmusing.blogspot.com/
Joe Flood provides stellar artwork throughout the book. But my favorite illustrations were those of his that portrayed actual paleontological discoveries. Recreations of Velociraptor and Protoceratops locked in combat, along with nest attending Maiasaura and Oviraptors are key events in the history of the story of paleontology. 

Science Comics. Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers by MK Reed and Joe Flood
Photo Credit: Paul Cianfaglione
https://avianmusing.blogspot.com/
Like the first Jurassic Park movie, Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers does a very nice job of mixing sound scientific facts into mainstream pop culture. For that reason alone, I would consider this book a classic, and important children’s science book.

Science Comics. Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers by MK Reed and Joe Flood
Photo Credit: Paul Cianfaglione
https://avianmusing.blogspot.com/
  

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