Reviews /

The Tyrannosaur’s Feathers

Authored by Dr Adam S. Smith and Jonathan Emmett
Illustrated by Stieven Van der Poorten
Published by Uclan Publishing

The Tyrannosaur’s Feathers was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative read. Tyrannosaur and Velociraptor have a cheerful and humorous relationship and together provide the text with a distinct narrative voice. The duo essentially go on a journey of discovery alongside the reader, and their conversation acts as a vehicle that would propel children to read on. Smith and Emmett introduce readers to ambitious new vocabulary, and Van der Poorten includes some helpful diagrams to flesh out information relating to dinosaur body parts. These add depth to each concept and help to support understanding. A glossary may have been a nice addition to support pupils further, with vocabulary such as cretaceous and therapods potentially tripping some children up. They do tend to embolden some more subject specific vocabulary, which would be helpful for teachers to pre-teach to children prior to reading the text.

The conversation between the two dinosaur pals gently concludes with a final excerpt from ‘Dinosaurs: The Latest Evidence’, stating that our understanding of the tyrannosaurus is to be continued. Non-fiction can quickly become outdated with new discoveries, and this is an exciting reminder that there is more still to come.

Children will love the interactions between the dinosaur duo and the changing graphic illustrations of the tyrannosaurus as each discovery is unveiled. The two dinosaurs also make direct references to the illustrator, adding a fun, almost postmodern twist to the text- something I have not often seen in non-fiction before. The Tyrannosaur’s Feathers is a creative, informative and fun non-fiction book, and a certain hit for any budding palaeontologist in KS2.