Title: Science Comics: Dinosaurs: Fossils and Feathers
Author: M. K. Reed and Joe Flood
Publisher: First Second Comics
Check this book out on Goodreads.
Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic–dinosaurs, coral reefs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, flying machines, and more. These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you’re a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty-year-old with a secret passion for airplanes, these books are for you!
This volume: in Dinosaurs, learn all about the history of paleontology! This fascinating look at dinosaur science covers the last 150 years of dinosaur hunting, and illuminates how our ideas about dinosaurs have changed–and continue to change. (Source: Goodreads)
Science Comics is a new series from First Second introducing various science topics to kids in a fun easy to read graphic novel format. This particular book follows the history of the study of dinosaurs from the beginning to just last year. The text is paired with adorable illustrations of dinosaurs and pop culture references.
I was so excited for this series when I first heard about it, but I knew it might be a while before I’d get my hands on the books because First Second is not abundantly available where I live. While on vacation down South I managed to first the first 2 books in the series at a Barnes and Noble. I delved right in the second I was back in the car, and boy was I disappointed. This book was a mess! There’s a throughline in this book, a history, a map – and the book can hardly stick to it. Reed dumps all kind of extra unnecessary information throughout the book that was distracting, made me lose focus, and really took away from the overall historical narrative. I don’t even know if I learned anything because I couldn’t keep it all straight in my head. The one thing I’ll give this book is that the art was amazing.
Dinosaurs tackles a really long stretch of history in about 100 pages, that’s incredibly ambitious. I think they didn’t give themselves the room needed to really delve into most of what they tried, unsuccessfully to delve into. There were tangents scattered throughout the book that really took away from the overall narrative of the study of dinosaurs, and really added a lot of confusion. There might have been more success if only a period of history was written about or only certain scientists – this seemed to be the way to go given the second subtitle but apparently not. To me it just felt like they were trying so hard to cram so much in, and the pacing was weird and forced because of it. There were times when concepts were introduced and nothing was done with them or things were said but not explained – Pangaea for me being the big one. I know what Pangaea is, but who’s to say that every 6+ year old is going to? If I was a kid reading this I would have been lost so quickly because nothing was properly explained
The art was gorgeous. That was really the thing that made up for the writing to some extent. The art was clean and simple, the illustrations looked like what I remembered learning as a kid, there were some great visual gags too. Some of the flowchart kind of stuff was incredibly difficult to follow though, and that paired up with the writing just made the book seem even more of a mess.
I wanted so badly to love this book, but I couldn’t get into it at all. I was so frustrated when I was done reading it. I would not recommend this, I would not buy it for a friend or their kids. I might even wind up avoiding the rest of the series to be honest.