Walking With Dinosaurs

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Walking With Dinosaurs: A Natural History is divided into six chapters, each dealing with a different time period of the Mesozoic era when dinosaurs flourished on the Earth. Each chapter is based on the television series of the same title produced by Tim Haines for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). He is very adept at explaining complicated ideas about dinosaurs in an easy-to-understand manner. Explanations of how different dinosaurs lived, mated, and survived are described in the book in story-like fashion, accompanied by timelines, graphs, diagrams, and outstanding computer-generated pictures of the animals. The animated images of the dinosaurs are displayed on natural background landscapes, making them appear very lifelike. The detailed colored pictures are especially appealing to young adult readers.

Walking With Dinosaurs provides an excellent introduction to contemporary ideas and theories about dinosaurs. Questions concerning reproduction, whether dinosaurs were hot blooded or cold blooded, and a possible explanation of their extinction are all addressed in lay language. The book does, however, read more like science fiction on a number of very speculative issues. For example, the proposed courtship behavior of Tyrannosaurus, the idea that this species suffered from gout, and the inferred social behavior of certain dinosaurs are very controversial ideas.

Overall, the book splendidly depicts a reasonable history of dinosaurs, the environments they lived in, and their brutal lifestyle. It is an excellent supplement to the television series Walking With Dinosaurs. For anyone interested in the world of dinosaurs, how they lived, or how they became extinct, this book offers a vivid portrayal in both word and picture.