My 78th review for this thread is a negative 1 for Stamper's Dinosaur Detectives (The Magic School Bus Science Chapter Book #9)
. If you haven't already, I'd greatly appreciate you reading & voting "Helpful" for said review in the bolded link below. Besides wanting to make sure said review gives a good idea of what to expect, it needs all the "Helpful" votes it can get because it's outnumbered by opposing reviews (which don't give a good idea of what to expect). Many thanks in advance.Here we go again ( https://www.amazon.com/review/RZZ4R6IK9VL5N/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8 ): 1/5
Short version: If you want a good Magic School Bus
dino book, get Cole's The Magic School Bus in the Time of the Dinosaurs
& read it in conjunction with other, more recent books (E.g. Holtz's Dinosaurs
).* All other Magic School Bus
dino books should be avoided, especially Stamper's Dinosaur Detectives (The Magic School Bus Science Chapter Book #9)
Long version: Read on.
I wasn't expecting DD to be even worse than Schwabacher's The Magic School Bus Flies with the Dinosaurs
), especially given Holtz's involvement, but in some ways, it is. In this review, I list those ways.
1) DD is even worse in terms of the characters & story. At least with Schwabacher's book, one could argue that 1) the characters act more like they do in Cole's book than they do in the show, & 2) the story is short. Unfortunately, DD is basically a worse version of the show:
-In reference to the characters, this is especially apparent in Ms. Frizzle (who acts more like a normal teacher than the wacky, zany character I know/love), Liz (who acts more like a normal pet than the humanly-sentient character I know/love), Arnold (who acts more like a Flanderized version of the relatable character I know/love, so basically, himself in The Magic School Bus Rides Again
), & Ralphie: Like each episode of the show, each of Stamper's books focuses on 1 character; In DD, that's Ralphie, who acts more like Carlos does in the show than he does in the show (I.e. He tells more bad jokes & laughs at more of Carlos' bad jokes); See reasons #1
& 3 in my review of the show for why The Magic School Bus
should never focus on Carlos-type characters ( https://www.amazon.com/review/R1A9PA105I2590/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8
-In reference to the story, this is especially apparent in 2 major ways: 1) It's more character-driven in DD than it is in Cole's book (which is bad because the characters range from bland to awful); 2) It's filled with so much dialogue that DD reads more like a script than a book (which is bad because the dialogue is poorly written).
2) DD is similarly hit-&-miss in terms of getting the facts straight. This is especially apparent in the sidebars because the misses stick out more with less text (E.g. See all 3 Stamper quotes, especially the 1st one; Dino eggs didn't just hold the baby & a yolk, "big plant eaters" didn't lay the biggest eggs, & sauropods typically didn't lay eggs of that shape & size).
3) DD is even worse in terms of writing (which is saying a lot):
-It's annoyingly cobbled together from different parts of Cole's book (E.g. See the 1st & 2nd Stamper quotes).
-It's annoyingly redundant (E.g. 1st, in the main text, D.A. says, "They're extinct. That means not one member of their species is still alive"; Then, in her report on the same page, she says, "Dinosaurs are extinct. Not one of their kind is still alive").
-It's annoyingly simplified (E.g. 1st, see the 2nd Stamper quote; Then, see reason #1
in my review of Schwabacher's book).
-It's annoyingly weird (E.g. See the 3rd Stamper quote; Why "a" Plateosaurus?; & why did it stand "long"?; Why the "also"?).
4) DD is even worse in terms of art (which, again, is saying a lot):
-It's annoyingly contradictory with the text (E.g. According to the text, the baby Diplodocus are green; According to the cover art, they're not).
-It's annoyingly contradictory with itself (I.e. Some of the life reconstructions are based on those in the show, others are tracings of those in Cole's book, & still others are original).
-It's annoyingly outdated/abominable: In reference to outdated, this is especially apparent in the unfeathered Troodon (Quoting Holtz: "Depicting a Troodon or a Velociraptor without feathers...would simply be antiscientific"); In reference to abominable, this is especially apparent in Enik's multi-species scenes (which, stylistically, look like they're from "A Sloppy Art Coloring Book"); Worse still, they're inconsistently abominable (I.e. The same dinos look more realistic in some scenes & more cartoony in others); In reference to both, this is especially apparent when comparing Enik's baby Diplodocus on the cover of DD to Mick Ellison's mostly-accurate baby Diplodocus from around the same time ( https://paleoaerie.org/2013/11/07/day-1-at-svp/
*For an even better version of Cole's book, see Howard's Dinosaur Empire!
(which I reviewed: https://www.amazon.com/review/R17ZWNPWDUKZWI/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8
Quoting Stamper (who cobbled this together from Amanda Jane's "WHAT WERE SAUROPODS?" & Molly's "HOW BIG WERE DINOSAUR EGGS?"):
- Quote :
- Dinosaurs Laid Eggs by Wanda
Baby dinosaurs hatched from eggs. Dinosaur eggs held the baby animal and a yolk. The yolk was the animal's food until it hatched.
Big plant eaters laid the biggest eggs. Sauropods were heavy, long-necked plant eaters, and they laid football-shaped eggs. Their eggs were 1 foot long and 10 inches wide!
Quoting Stamper (who cobbled this together from the main text & Carmen's "HOW A DEAD DINOSAUR COULD BECOME A FOSSIL"):
- Quote :
- How Fossils Form by Tim
A fossil is created when an animal or plant dies and is buried in the ground. Over time, the hard parts of the animal, such as bones and teeth, are preserved by surrounding minerals. These hard parts turn into rock and become a fossil.
- Quote :
- Dino Data File
A Plateosaurus was one of the first long-necked plant eaters in the Triassic Period. It stood 27 feet long and weighed 1,500 pounds. It could also rear up and use its hands to pull leaves off trees.
Fun Fact: Plateosaurus had weak teeth. These weren't much help against large predators. Its large thumb claw was its best defense!