BOOKLIST Review of Pterosaurs
Gr. 2-4. After tackling megalodon, feathered dinos, and woolly mammoths in three previous books, Arnold and Caple add another extinct creature to their repertoire. This solid overview of "the only reptiles ever capable of powered flight" covers pterosaurs' ancestry, their peculiar physiology, theories about their behavior, and major fossil discoveries, frequently making abstract facts concrete through vivid comparisons: "If your arms were built like the wings of a pterosaur, your little finger would be more than 3 feet (1 meter) long!" Descriptions of about 20 of the more than 100 different pterosaur species known today round out the text. Caple's neatly labeled watercolors emphasize clarity over drama, but her subjects' exotic physical oddities (hairy, batlike bodies; toucan-bright beaks; bulbous, gaudily colored crests) will draw kids into the diorama-like tableaus.