The book begins by admitting that new information about dinosaurs is being unearthed regularly, and old ideas grow outdated when new facts are uncovered. Taylor explains how scientists come by their facts and theories: Primarily through fossils (usually partial, leading to some infamous mistakes, like Brontosaurus needing to be renamed because scientists put the wrong head on the creature). Taylor explains how difficult it is to know much about animals looking only at their bones - even if they are complete. The illustrations beautifully illustrate this by showing the many ways a peacock or dog skeleton could be interpreted if you'd never seen those animals before.
Next, Taylor asserts that dinosaurs must have been created by God "in the beginning" and explains how some scientists believe the Bible mentions dinosaurs. He explores theories about why dinosaurs went extinct (including a meteorite or the biblical flood). He explains why a fossil doesn't need a million years to form, how Noah may have taken dinosaurs on the ark, and what may have happened to dinosaurs after the flood (including climate change and hunting by man). He describes a few dragon and large creature legends from around the world that might be based on factual accounts of dinosaurs living on earth after the flood. He even touches upon the idea that in remote areas of the world dinosaurs might - perhaps - still be alive today.
Other ideas discussed include whether dinosaurs were meat eaters before the flood, what the biblical Leviathan might have been, and whether or not dinosaurs really were as ferocious as movies show them.
The illustrations are fantastic. They range from black and white photographs of actual fossils and cave drawings (that appear to show dinosaurs), to full color drawings of dinosaurs (with the note that they are only an artist's idea of what dinosaurs might have looked like), to detailed black and white drawings of legendary dinosaur-like "monsters."
What I Like: I love that the author is not ashamed to look at modern science with a polite but disagreeing eye. He never slams modern scientific theory, but explains the creationist point of view quite thoroughly. And - best of all - when something is a theory, he explains it as such, using words like "perhaps" or "some scientists think." The illustrations are also fascinating (especially the photos of actual fossils and reproductions of historical drawings of dinosaur-like animals).
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: According to the publisher, 4 to 8, but I think this book is best for kids 7 and up.
Publishing Info: David Cook, 1989; ISBN: 0781430712; hardback, $14.99