Matthew has bought a ticket to Dinosaurland with one purpose in mind: he needs to ask the Tyrannosaurus Rex an important question. When he arrives, he is greeted by John, a tour guide with more than a passing resemblance to a turtle. The two of them start the tour.
Between one step and the next, Matthew and John go from walking down a paved path to swimming in the Cambrian sea. There, Matthew sees the development of animals from single-celled organisms to more complex creatures. How much time are they covering? Every step or stroke they take moves them 100,000 years into the future.
Along the way, John explains the creatures they are seeing and where they fit into the evolutionary scale. So, the late Devonian period is distinguished by the development of the lower jaw bone. In the Permian period, John and Matthew return to land to see the rise of plant life. By the time they get to the Triassic period, they have covered 350 million years of history.
Lawson’s twenty years of experience drawing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shows in his clear line drawings of an array of dinosaurs. He realistically portrays all the different dinosaurs, plants, and mammals. There is little shading, but lots of texture to the drawings. He can get a little wordy, with whole blocks of text, but considering how much information he is packing into one book, it is understandable.
Lawson provides two endings—one more in keeping with the story and one taking a fantastical turn. I would have prefered to have one ending (just commit, please) but I can see kids would like having options and also preferring the more fantastical. Two endings also gives Matthew two answers to his question.
This nonfiction book would be a perfect supplement to classroom learning or for the library of a young dinosaur fanatic.
A Walk Through Dinosaurland
by Jim Lawson
Self Published, 2015
Publisher Age Rating: ages 7-12