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Review of Titanosaur: Discovering the World’s Largest Dinosaur

Titanosaur: Discovering the World’s Largest Dinosaur
by José Luis Carballido and Diego Pol; illus. by Florencia Gigena
Primary, Intermediate    Orchard/Scholastic    40 pp.    g
3/19    978-1-338-20739-2    $18.99

The paleontologists who discovered the fossilized bones of a group of seven of the largest-known (“for now”) dinosaurs take readers step-by-step through the careful and time-consuming process of unearthing, transporting, and assembling a titanosaur skeleton. The main narrative (well-paced if exclamation point–heavy) tells the story of the scientists’ lucky find, from the landowner’s initial report of a giant bone on his property in Argentina to the reveal of the reassembled 122-foot-long, 26.5-foot-tall skeleton. Along the way, Carballido and Pol explain hypotheses for why so many bones were found in one place (titanosaurs traveled in herds) and how a single tooth can be used to estimate this sauropod’s food intake (“it must have eaten the amount of plants it would take to cover an entire soccer field every single day!”). Additional definitions and facts are found at the bottoms or sides of the pages. Gigena’s art (which appears to be pencil and watercolor) skillfully conveys the immensity of the fossils by zooming out for long-range perspectives on the Argentinian landscapes, or by placing human figures (members of the expedition team clearly enjoying their jobs) near the fossils for scale. Small photographs of the authors and their team members at work are found throughout; the book concludes with a double-page-spread photograph of the assembled skeleton and a brief authors’ note encouraging young readers to become paleontologists and “lead your own dinosaur adventures some day!”

From the March/April 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford About Danielle J. Ford

Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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