Dinotopia by James Gurney
A few years back when Roo was really into dinosaurs I was randomly perusing the children’s section at the library and happened to find James Gurney’s Dinotopia—A Land Apart from Time and Dinotopia—The World Beneath.
We had the Dinotopia movie (a Hallmark made for television movie) and while it was a story in itself, I felt like I was missing a whole piece of a puzzle. When I saw the books I thought they were what the story was based on. I was mistaken. The books tell the story that pre-date the movie.
The books begin in 1860 with Arthur Denison and his son Will. They are explorers who are shipwrecked on an uncharted island. They find themselves in a land where dinosaurs live in peace with humans secretly hidden from the world. Both books are Arthur’s journals.
The illustrations are incredible. James Gurney is an artist with an unbelievable imagination and execution. I wish I could own one of his prints, they are fabulous. For now the books will have to do.
When we first read these Boo was about four and he wasn’t much for sitting and listening. I think with seven fast approaching he would be willing and able to follow a little better. Technically, he could read them himself, but I think the work that it would take would distract from the story. Besides, reading the book aloud allows for discussion about some concepts that the book presents, like what happens when we let machines do our thinking for us, that a young child can certainly grasp, but might be more appropriate to explore with adult guidance. Roo, coming up on ten and having had these read to him before could easily navigate these solo.
Between the rich artwork and the detailed writing these were books that I chose to add to our personal library.
There are several other Dinotopia books that form a series, but were written by other authors with Gurney’s aid. We have not read any of those yet, but found some at a used books store and they will likely be on the list for this fall.
Children's Book Monday is hosted by Elise at A Path Made Straight. It is always wonderful to visit her. She has some wonderful books reviewed and the other contributors do also.
To note: there is a cartoon version of Dinotopia available. Having seen it, I don't highly recommend it.