Book Review – The World Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures (By: Dougal Dixon)

The World Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures is a 2007 (Updated occasionally: my copy says 2014) illustrated encyclopedia of exactly what’s in the title, with Dougal Dixon’s name on the front.

Now I’m not a dinosaur expert (though when I was in elementary school I had a business card that said I was. I was a weird kid) but I do like dinosaurs, (and I never felt like pop culture did them right, save for Jurassic Park, which I know is unrealistic thanks in part to books like these). And I can’t go and fact-check all of this info, but from what I’ve seen from multiple sources, it seems to be fairly correct.

I’m not going to lie, though. I haven’t read the whole thing cover to cover, but people who read encyclopedias from cover to cover are crazy people. But from what I have read, I have determined that the book is informative and well written. It is very complete in the amount of entries, also containing many non-dinosaur species (really dinos are the selling point, though), but less complete on the individual entries. I know that is because we know very little about some of them, but I always found myself wanting more descriptors. It still tells you a lot of things about a lot of prehistoric animals, and is a very good and complete reference.

But speaking of reference, my favorite part of the book isn’t really the words , but the massive amount of artwork it contains (everyone’s favorite part of every dino book). There are a thousand entries, each with its own unique artwork, and other supplemental artwork here and there. It is all beautiful (if a bit featherless, in light of recent discoveries), especially in scope. If one wants to draw dinosaurs, here is an amazing set of reference materials. And the paper they are printed on, while not the best, is very good and the images really do pop.

So as a reference, both for the text and visuals, this book succeeds. The price for these types of books is always a bit much, but for the amount of work that went into it, it’s hard to argue with it, especially since this one’s price isn’t really that bad. If you like dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures (drawing them or reading about them) then this is certainly a book to look in to, and if you can find a deal on it (like I did) I wouldn’t pass it up.

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