Monday, April 07, 2008

NonFiction Monday: Sabertooth

Dewey: 565.79

by Patrick O'Brien, Henry Holt, 2008

Patrick O'Brien thinks BIG!
Whether it is The Great Ships, The Hindenburg, Megatooth, Mammoth or his book Gigantic! : how big were the dinosaurs?, O'Brien brings larger than life history to young readers.

This book explores the background of the sabertooth cat as well as other ancient "sabertooth" mammals. O'Brien illustrates the actual-size of a Smilodon canine tooth and compares it to an actual-size tiger tooth from today. His paintings evoke the fur and coloration of the cats as he speculates on their possible colors and patterns. A cat's unsuccessful struggle to escape a tar pit provides scientists today with the bones and fossils that teach us about this animal, its prey and enemies.

O'Brien brings prehistory to life in his paintings. The watercolor gives a softness to the landscapes but he also paints the skeleton and skulls of Smilodon and other cats, with precision.

This is a must-have for a school library.

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