A centipede as long as a couch? Trees so tall they touch the clouds? Amphibians changing into reptiles? These are just a few of the amazing life forms detailed in When Bugs Were Big....This lively new paperback tickles the reader’s funny bone while imparting tons of information about the animals, plants, and bugs that lived before the dinosaurs. Children will read "news reports" including a weather forecast from 320 million years ago and an emergency broadcast about the swift extinction that would end the Permian period. As kids peruse Bonner’s innovative combination of narrative text, engaging illustrations, hilarious cartoons, maps, charts, and time lines, they will gather lots of valuable scientific information about the amazing creatures that ruled the Earth before the dinosaurs.
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Hannah Bonner was born and raised on the Spanish island of Mallorca, she went to Oberlin College in Ohio, where she studied biology and art. Over the years she managed to bring her two loves together by specialising in natural science illustration. In 2000 she illustrated the best-selling Scholastic Science Dictionary. Shortly thereafter she began writing as well as illustrating.From School Library Journal:
Grade 3-6--Bonner takes a lighthearted approach to a fascinating topic. The Carboniferous and Permian periods spanned 100 million years or so just before the better-known Mesozoic Era. The author describes many of the unusual plant and animal species from those times in a lively, conversational style. Cartoon illustrations decorate every page. Some of them are strictly informational, but most contain elements of humor as well. The facts and the fun work well together, and it's always clear which is which. In one three-panel strip, for example, two scientists offer legitimate theories regarding possible uses of a shark's (Akmonistion) spiny "turret," while a chef wishes that he could have used that unusual appendage as a cheese grater. Weather reports by well-dressed reptile ancestors, want ads for bug-eating amniotes, and pictures with word balloons are among the other comic features. The more straightforward drawings of the unusual creatures are clear and eye-catching, though not all include estimated size. A useful two-page illustrated time line gives a nice overview. Most of the species details are basic, with more emphasis on how life in general evolved during this time period. Readers also see how climate, geology, and other animals effected development. Most dinosaur books include just a page or two of pre-Triassic information, so this title offers valuable subject coverage in an appealing package.--Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
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