Parents' Guide to

Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Sharks and Other Sea Monsters

By Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Stunning paper-art makes nonfiction pop.

Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Sharks and Other Sea Monsters Poster Image

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The illustrations in the book are literally eye-popping. Complex paper sculptures leap out from the center of each two-page spread, unfolding as the reader leafs through the book. Don't be fooled by the reported 12 pages -- the corners of each page have miniature books with smaller pop-ups with more detailed information. The result is a true encyclopedic take on prehistoric sea creatures that lives up to the high standard set by the illustrations.

The text is dry, as befits its scientific subject, and is likely to keep the attention of only the most devoted fans of prehistoric creatures. Happily, with 3-D illustrations as enticing as these, the Paleozoic era is likely to win some new enthusiasts. Even if they skip the bulk of the text, kids are likely to learn something just by spending time examining the intricate paper engineering.

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