So when my National Geographic Kids editor asked me to author Angry Birds Playground: Dinosaurs, I hesitated for a second before jumping in. But only a second.
(Re)learning all things dinosaur was a blast. New species are being discovered all the time, often by everyday folks. I had no idea how far we'd come in our dino knowledge. A tiny sampling:
-Scientists know what certain dinos ate because they sometimes find bones from smaller animals lying in the stomach area of a dino skeleton.
-Slower-moving dinos often had deadly, whip-like tails to fight off predators.
-Dino bones have been discovered on every continent – including Antarctica.
-Scientists used to believe a Stegosaurus could flap the plates on its back to keep itself cool.
So where do the Angry Birds come in? Here's the copy from the back cover:
"It's an extraordinary day on Piggy Island because the Angry Birds haven't lost their eggs, they've FOUND something amazing: a bone! Not a plain old bone – a HUGE and very old bone. What kind of giant creature could this bone have come from? That's a question for Mighty Eagle – the wisest bird they know. Join the Angry Birds on their imaginary trip through time to discover the most awesome animals ever to roam this planet: the dinosaurs!"
As Mighty Eagle helps the Birds imagine prehistoric times, they all wear tiny animals skins and bones in their head feathers, ala Bamm-Bamm Rubble. Very cute.
The book also answers these questions . . .
-What was Earth like in the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous time periods?
-How are fossils created?
-How do scientists determine a fossil's age?
-How are dinosaurs related to modern birds?
-How are all those dino names pronounced?
Throughout the book, Franco Tempesta's spectacular paintings give kids an idea of how dinosaurs might have looked (click on his name to see for yourself!). His colorful and realistic dinos (48 of them!) all but leap off the pages.
Back matter includes a world map showing where various dinosaur bones have been found, a fun-filled quiz, a glossary, and dino-related activities for kids.
If you know a dinosaur-loving kid, or one who is nuts about the Angry Birds, enter below to win a copy of Angry Birds Playground: Dinosaurs (National Geographic). In your comment, please let us know who you'd be sharing the book with.
Entry deadline: June 19th