September 12, 2009

Dinotopia: Land Apart from Time by James Gurney

Title: Dinotopia: Land Apart From Time
Author: James Gurney
Age Range: 8+
Reviewer: Heather

Dinotopia is a story set in the late 1800s, where a man called Arthur Denison writes about his life living on the island of Dinotopia. He has a son, Will Denison, a 12 year old who gets older as the book progresses.
Dinotopia is very realistic, and the stunning illustrations of oil paint done by the author, James Gurney, make it feel even more real. The art is a main part of the book, it would be completely different without it.
The story does not have much plot, it’s mostly just telling you how life is on Dinotopia. Dinosaurs and humans live side by side, neither of them in control over the other, it’s more of a partnership. The dinosaurs have their own language, and an alphabet they use to communicate with humans. I had a great time learning how to write it! There is a key in the book that tells you what each letter and number is.
The book brings you through many of the Dinotopian towns, which can all be found on the handy map in the beginning of the book. My favorite is Treetown, where the humans live in treehouses.
Will Denison becomes a Skybax rider, one of the many that ride the Quetzalcoatlus Skybax, a flying dinosaur. The book takes you through his journey of learning how to ride and making friends with another rider.
All of the dinosaurs in this book actually existed, though some of the names are fictional. This adds a very real touch.
This is a great book full of charm and just makes you want to sail off and become a Dinotopian!
This is the first book in a series of three (so far).

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