‘Discovering the Truth about Dinosaurs’
A new children’s book to delight the hearts of young and old
Published: 7 October 2021 (GMT+10)
It’s not every day that a new children’s book appears on the scene that has an instant appeal, but this is one such book.
Let’s start with the cover and illustrations. Alison Brown has a distinctive drawing style that is as eye-catching as it is precise. This is a book that you can judge by its cover. There’s a clever mix of black-and-white and coloured spreads, with each scene as true to detail as it’s possible to get without actual living dinosaurs with which to compare. Children aged between 7 and 11 would be able to make a myriad of discoveries for themselves as they study each page. Younger children will enjoy simply looking at the pictures.
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ is certainly a true adage; but the words in this instance tell the true history of God’s creation, and where and how dinosaurs fit into that. Philip Bell has cleverly used an alliterative theme structure:
Under each heading there is clear and concise rhyming verse that explains each point.
Good poetry is a clever way of getting complex ideas across in a simple but direct way, so a child can easily absorb the details. Perhaps it’s the lilt and rhythm which such poetry gives to the words that helps captivate them and holds their attention.
For example, under ‘design’ we read:
Some think that the Bible is not a true word,
“A six-day creation”, they say is absurd!”
They teach life evolved without plan or design,
But compared to such claims, God’s Scriptures outshine!
You can probably get a feel for the essence of the book from that. The images and the words point very directly to the story of God’s creation;
- Its brief time in a perfect state where dinosaurs roamed together with man;
- The Fall when Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden along with the animals—dinosaurs included;
- The world as it fell into awful decline from there, and in time Noah was assigned the task of building the Ark;
- The time when representatives of all land kinds, including dinosaurs, entered the Ark, and;
- The decline of the dinosaurs’ presence on Earth (as is happening even now to many creatures) until all that was left to find were the fossil remains of the many who had perished in the Deluge.
The children to whom you are reading this book will likely know the pronunciation of many of the dinosaurs’ names. That seems to be a rite of passage for youngsters these days. They just love getting their tongues around those big words. But mums, dads, and grandparents, no need to worry. Philip has provided a pronunciation table on page 35.
Following that section, he has cleverly included 9 pages of fulsome explanations for the various pages where more information is warranted. It’s a good idea to study up on this section before tackling reading with your child, so you will come prepared with the extra information required to answer those inevitable ‘Why?’ questions. Some of the more advanced youngsters will likely be intrigued enough to want to explore this section for themselves, of course.
Philip’s scientific and theological knowledge, coupled with his communication skills and Alison’s considerable drawing talent, have created a book that deserves a place on any bookshelf. It might have been written with children specifically in mind, but the need to reinforce biblical truths in the mind and heart of the adult who is reading it has not been ignored.
Sometimes, given the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we adults don’t spend enough time diving into the Word of God. How wonderful when a book presents itself in such a way that young and old benefit from the reading.
Research increasingly shows the way in which excessive ‘screen time’ can cause problems in the young, but the opposite is true for books. I believe a ‘book-reading before bedtime’ should be standard procedure every day in every home that houses youngsters. This has so many plusses for their entire lives, that it is one task not to be ignored.
How lovely and special to send those in our charge off to sleep with stories of God’s wonderful preservation of all of His creation, and His incredible imagination and creative genius.
I am not in the habit of writing promotions and would be wary of coming across as somehow ‘commercial’. But I was genuinely excited when I first saw this wonderful book. I had previously been asked, as a children’s writer myself,1 to supply the foreword, and I meant every word when I said:
This book is a winner on three fronts:
- The beautiful illustrations command attention — children love animals, and dinosaurs are the top favourites;
- The poetic verse is simple and easy to read and provides opportunity for further explanation, while teaching biblical truths;
- The ‘Notes for Parents and Teachers’ is a valuable resource and will provide answers for broader explanations.
… Philip and Alison have produced a book worthy of a place in any home.
I truly believe it’s a superb book to give as a single gift, or for those special Sunday School occasions (I’ve been made aware that there are some marvellous discounts available for bulk purchases). You can have a ‘sneak peek’ at some of the inside pages at creation.com/s/10-1-622.