Cover of How Did We Find Out About Dinosaurs?
Book 145 Biology 1973
The Tragedy of the Moon The Best of Isaac Asimov
1 spaceship-and-sun
Asimov fan
2 spaceships-and-suns
Target reader



Over two hundred million years ago dinosaurs ruled the earth. Some were huge and others were small, some bird-like and others like lizards. But all of them died out, and the discovery of their fossilized bones caused the rewriting of earth’s history. Learn more about this ancient and complex species [sic!].

I would dearly love to recommend this book heartily to its target audience— but my image of my daughter from when she was eight (who knew more about dinosaurs than many a paleontologist, methinks, and spent a fair chunk of time proofing the book’s index in a most disapproving fashion) is standing in spirit over my shoulder chiding me for being so generous as to give it even two spaceships-and-suns. Like many of Asimov’s science books, it has not aged well, and it has a lot places where science has passed it by: tyrannosaurus is standing with the wrong posture, apatosaurus is called brontosaurus, and so on. (Actually David Wool’s illustrations are atypically disappointing in this book, too, for some reason. And we won’t even mention the disastrous cover of the Avon paperback reprint.)

So, although this isn’t an entirely useless book for the child wanting to know about dinosaurs— trust me, I can easily come up with a long, long list of better ones. (Alas.)

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