Now with the holidays approaching, (What? Can't you hear the music already being Muzak'd into your brain at every shopping aisle turn at your local Wally World?) what could be better than dinosaurs for Christmas?
Other than, say... a trip to Tahiti? Well, it was worth a try!
The very next best thing is this new encyclopedia just out from Random House. If you have a youngster on your list between the ages of 6 and 60, then this is your ticket for a sure-to-please gift. And, you can shop right from your home computer and avoid getting ear-wormed by stale, corny old Christmas carols!
I always love giving books as presents. Yeah, I know, the professional Gurus of Giving (who ARE these people?) always say it's a "personal thing" and not to attempt to guess someone else's literary tastes. However, Dinosaurs is not just a big coffee-table picture book of eye candy, though the art work of Luis Rey is oh so delicious. The book is written by a paleontologist, Dr. Thomas R. Holz, Jr.,who calls himself "King of the Dino Geeks", and includes the opinons of thirty-three pre-eminent professional palenotologists. How's that for a broad range of opinions?
The story of planet Earth during the reign of these fascinating creatures is well written and encourages readers to venture their own conclusions and theories. I like the open-mindedness of Dr. Holz, never claiming that his interpretation is the only hypothesis and further admits that "I don't know" is sometimes the best answer available. Imagine that kind of refreshing candor from all those stuffy old dinosaur history books from the past - not!
Here's another paragraph that gives you a clue as to how Dr. Holz presents this information to spark a curious young mind:
When we pick up a pebble, we don't normally think too much about where it came from. But if you understand how a pebble is formed, you can understand the history of the world.
Understand the history of the world.
From a lowly pebble.
The chapter goes on to explain in more depth exactly why I can find all these wonderful fossil treasures in my own backyard. Very cool. Now I know what I want to be when I grow up - a paleontologist!