Animal Planet Chapter Books: Dinosaurs!

Animal Planet Chapter Books: Dinosaurs! - Animal Planet Animal Planet’s new series is meant to be a more in-depth look at certain creatures. Its supposed to be valuable either for pleasure reading or for school work. The recommended reading level for this series is grade 4 (9-10 years old). This book, focusing on dinosaurs, is 112 pages long, and written in a short chapter book format. While it is strongly oriented towards text, as one would expect, there is a liberal dose of illustrations throughout. It’s good, but it’s not great.

While I admire what they set out to do with Animal Planet Chapter Books: Dinosaurs!, I didn’t care much for it. This is rare, as I’m a fan of nearly everything Animal Planet puts out. Almost immediately, my initial thoughts were that what I was reading was a not easily digestible info-dump. There’s a few pages where it was so intense I read a bit to my partner, just to see what he thought. He agreed. Given the age range, even a few little charts or timelines would have helped. Unfortunately, even though there were plenty of pictures of dinosaurs, there was not so much in the way of helpful illustrations. Once you got into the third chapter (which is about T. Rexes), this problem became much less pronounced.

The illustrations in Dinosaurs! bugged me more than they probably should have. I’m used to a certain quality of work in terms of appearance from Animal Planet, and these just didn’t measure up. However, the Fact Files were cool. The Dino Details sections were interesting. The information contained, overall, was definitely worth reading. I can see what they’re aiming to do, and I think our young dino-crazed kids out there were will probably enjoy the series. I’d err on the cautious side, though, and probably purchase this * for 11+ unless your 9-year-old is an advanced reader.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.