The Prehistoric Times Last week, my mates over at Frances Lincoln Children’s Books asked me to review one of their new titles. "Come on", they said, "Get up off of your slightly creased backside and check out this new dinosaur related publication". "Dinosaur?", I exclaimed, "Hasn't everything already been written about them?". "No", they replied, "and especially not like this".

Well, according to the press release, The Prehistoric Times is a new laugh-out-load approach to children’s learning produced in partnership with the Natural History Museum. This 32 page paperback, priced at £5.99, has been written and illustrated by Stella Gurney, Matthew Hodson, and Neave Parker, and is basically set up in the style of a newspaper from 65 million years-ago.

On a narrative level it's written from the point of view of a wise-cracking dinosaur editor, and the book itself is laid-out so it can boast engaging scientific content that has been fact-checked by the experts over at the aforementioned museum. It all sound's really great, doesn't it? So without any further ado, what now follows are my five reasons on why you should check out this great book.

The Prehistoric Times
1) IT'S WELL PRESENTED:   As I've just mentioned, this book is cleanly laid out in a tabloid styled format. So not only do you get photos, images, banner headlines, off-the-wall editorials, and witty captions, but in addition to this, you also get everything else that comes along with this genre of publication, like...

2) IT'S FUN:   As soon as you pick up the book you can tell nigh on straight away that it's going to be a really pleasurable experience. Its tabloid styled format lends a real jovial touch to the overall piece, and this is complimented by comical advertisements, innovative articles, a section dedicated to Dino related tips and tricks, plus let's not forget about those games, those wonderful, wonderful games, like join the dots, WORDsearch, spot the difference, pin the tail on the brontosaurus, plus many, many more.

3) IT'S EDUCATIONAL:   When I was at school I had a teacher for science called Mister Zayn. Now as most of us know, science as a subject can be a really dull and boring one when placed into the wrong hands, especially when you have to sit down and write things about neutrons, photons, and, you know… uhhh... Won-tons. Yet luckily enough, Mister Zayn was a really great teacher and he managed to teach us things about science in a very enjoyable manner. One day I remember him trying to explain to us how the Galaxy works, doing so by telling us that the solar system is basically like a collection of hormonal teenagers, not really sure which way to turn unless someone, namely, the Sun, told each planet what to do and when to actually do it. This was then complimented by him doing impressions of each planet as well as the numerous constellations -- and yes -- in many ways he is the human epitome of The Prehistoric Times, minus the strategic comb-over and the perpetual coffee breath. I mean, just look at the pictures provided and see for yourself that this isn't your usual dinosaur related textbook. The images are bold and complemented by content that's just as jovial. In fact, the whole book is so informative and entertaining to read, jam packed with dinosaur profiles, references, roundups, as well as information relating to what dinosaurs ate and did, sometimes it's hard to figure out when the fun ends and the knowledge begins. 

The Prehistoric Times
4) IT'S PREHISTORIC:   No. I don't mean this in the literal sense, but rather, in the informative sense. If truth be told, I'd say this book is mainly targeted at imaginative individuals who'd like to know what things might have been like during the prehistoric times. Now please don't get me wrong, as I'm not trying to say that kids shouldn't pick it up, or for that matter, someone older. Yet if you're the type of person who has a sense of humor and enjoys reading about dinosaurs and the like, then hell yeah, this is definitely the book for you! Just try to think of it as an amalgamation of a tabloid broadsheet and a very naughty kid who loves dinosaurs. 

5)  IT'S DINO-TASTIC:   Yes. I do know that this is a made up word. But then again, this is also a made up book. Not completely, mind you, as a large amount is very factual and steeped in real scientific knowledge. Yet having said that, a large portion is also dedicated to good old fashion fun and merriment. Such as a weather report relating to a meteor shower heading towards Earth, or alternatively, an advert to help promote Barry-Onyx's fish bar -- 'If you like your fish freshly caught and still flapping, then this is definitely the plaice for you'.
Now for any more information about The Prehistoric Times, please don't hesitate to pick up a copy via Amazon. Or better yet, why not check out the Quarto Kids website and twitter pages.


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