BOOK OF JOY 1: Walking With Dinosaurs

I’ve decided to introduce a new feature to spice up your blog-perusing life – the *cue sparkles* BOOK OF JOY. This is a tome that has brought me great pleasure over the past week, and for this feature, it’s Walking With Dinosaurs by Tim Haines. Yes, you read me correctly. DINOSAURS. *mounting excitement*

A dinosaur book with pictures? I’m sold. AND THIS ONE NOT ONLY HAS DINOSAURS BUT IT ALSO HAS LOTS OF DETAIL AND PICTURES AND *steadies* LOTS OF STUFF about marine reptiles of the Mesozoic era. These particular creatures are my thing. Cryptocliduses – can I do this? – are the key to my heart. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is makes me happy about dinosaurs, but it’s there. I think it’s the knowledge rush that I get whenever I learn something new; it’s as if my brain does a little dance whenever I cram yet another trivial fact in. It screams at me ‘Mock exams? What exams? I know, rather than learning about the carbon cycle, we can learn about how plesiosaurs use their flippers! So much more fun than passing any of your exams!’. And it’s true – dinosaurs are pretty fascinating.

Yes, I’ve realised that I sound like a five-year-old. But to get back to wittering on about the book. It’s a great one. Rather than bombarding you with facts, Haines has set it into a more story-like format. Each chapter focusses on a different time period, and on different animals – for example, my favourite ‘A Cruel Sea’ is set 149 million years ago and mainly features – you guessed it – plesiosaurs. Easily readable, the large, computer-generated images provide periods of respite from all the dinosaur trivia that your brain is absorbing, and I would highly recommend buying this for kids who are interested in dinosaurs. I should know – my parents bought me this when I was four. Yes, I’ve had this book for eleven years, and although I didn’t actually understand any of it until a few years back, Walking With Dinosaurs has definitely influenced my current attitude towards them.

There’s been a recent drive towards encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, maths, technology and engineering. Palaeontology is the dream. Well, being paid to sit at home and write plays is the dream dream, but palaeontology is close. Eleven years ago, I was captivated by these massive creatures – a lot of whom are a damn sight larger than anything that exists on land today – and I think that this is why this book has brought me so much joy. Because I can be an armchair dinosaur. Actually, I have done a couple of dinosaur impressions recently, but we’ll leave that there.

SIDE NOTE: If anyone knows of a good book about marine reptiles in the Mesozoic period then please get in touch with me!

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