Now, dinosaur books at least aren't as bad as cheap toy makers (if only the situation in this book was real). But they likewise tend to be a mine field of too little fact-checking, too much "aw, we'll just base everything on the most famous depiction of the animal in question." It takes a very long time for the new dinosaur finds that change out perspectives and shatter our very expectations of what these wonderful animals were like to filter into the public consciousness (if you don't believe me, ask your friends what a Tianyulong is and why everyone sh*t themselves when it was published).
As a shocking demonstration, I have for you two cheap dinosaur books I found in a surplus and salvage store. The first is creatively entitled Dinosaurs and if you must, it may be purchased at Amazon here. Or not, because the thing is mercifully out of print, but at least we know who to blame now.
Now, I should really let images like this one speak for themselves, but the print may get hard to read once I resize them (you should hopefully be able to click for big). For it's first trick, the book confuses Mei Long and Psittacosaurus (if you don't know from dinosaurs, I'm in no position to help you in understanding the rest of this post, but in this case the mammalian equivalent would be identifying a small, fluffy cat as a big, bristly boar). As an added bonus, the text refers to dinosaur eggs. Yeah.
The text in this one's a little fuzzy, but it's the most epic failure in the book. Here we have all of our favorite Ornithischians or "bird hipped" dinosaurs! You know, like Torosaurus and Psittacosaurus and Microraptor and Caudipteryx and Ara and...
To be fair, I can see why that'd be confusing. But it's also the kind of thing that makes it clear you have no business writing a book about dinosaurs.
I can't tell if these are sad or hilarious in hindsight. (And yes, the top one does say "Torsaurus".)
Our next book is this thing, which I am very sad to see is published by Walter Foster, the famous art instruction book publishers. I was going to go ballistic over that title, but it turn out they're all like that (All About Drawing Sea Creatures and Animals! All About Drawing Horses and Pets! All About Drawing Vehicles and Trees!) It starts out with this handy scale guide for typical animals in the book:
Then gives us some handy -er- "Dinosaur Extremes". Again the text is fuzzy, but we get the good old "Troodon is the smartest dinosaur" trope again:
And finally, a selection of the dinosaur drawings themselves, with some text. LOOK AT THAT TRICERATOPS!!! Also, the fun fact about Baryonx is just strange and that cute Bearded Dragon has no idea why he's here:
So where are the good dinosaur books? Well...
Hurry, Spewey, open it!
Well? What's it like?
(And readers, would you be a dear and right-click-new-tab this Musical Accompaniment for the next pictures.)
This popped up in Photobucket's sidebar while I was writing this:
Way to be sensitive to disfigured people. But yeah, okay, why not? Maybe it will make this cover easier to look at?
But this. Ah, this is a marked improvement.
(And guys... hey guys... guys...
Oshawatt or Snivy?
EDIT: Oshawott. Oshawoot always.)