Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs : The Definitive Pop-Up

Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs : The Definitive Pop-Up

From renowned pop-up masters Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart comes an awe-inspiring tribute to the world’s most beloved extinct animals and their 180-million-year reign on our planet.

Open this book and a massive T. REX springs out, flashing a startling jawful of jagged teeth. Turn the next spread and a ravishing raptor unfurls and appears to fly off the edge of the page. Inside the amazing ENCYCLOPEDIA PREHISTORICA: DINOSAURS are "shield bearers" in full-body armor, creatures with frilly headgear, and weighty, long-necked giants. There are even amusing tidbits on the history of paleontology itself — like a pop-up version of a Victorian New Year’s dinner in the belly of a dinosaur model, or a pair of scientists locked in a literal tug-of-war over bones.

Full of fascinating facts and lighthearted good humor, this breathtaking book includes fascinating, up-to-the-minute information about popular dinosaurs as well as many lesser-known varieties. With each of six spreads featuring one spectacular, large pop-up as well as booklets of smaller pop-ups and text, ENCYCLOPEDIA PREHISTORICA: DINOSAURS is a magnificent display of paper engineering and creativity — an astonishing book that will be read, admired, and treasured forever.


  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Series: Encyclopedia Prehistorica (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 12 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Pop edition (July 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763622281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763622282
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 2.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (495 customer reviews)
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  1. Back in 1994, before Robert Sabuda had fully gotten into the flow of pop-up picture book art, he created some early pop-ups with names like, “The Mummy’s Tomb” and “The Knight’s Castle”. Even with these fledgling efforts, Sabuda impressed himself on the critics. Said Publisher’s Weekly of Sabuda’s 1994 titles, “It’s rare to find a pop-up book in which the paper-engineering is the servant, not the master, of the art”. Fast-forward to 2005 and here we have Mr. Sabuda creating more pitch-perfect pop-up wonders than anyone else in America. Candlewick Press must be hugging itself with glee to have wrested Sabuda from the claims of other publishers. I’ve avoided reviewing Sabuda pop-up books until this moment for the simple reason that it is very hard to be subjective in the face of his work. On a first reading of “Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs” (which is only the first in the “Encyclopedia Prehistorica” series) I kept trying to assess the factual content of the book alongside the quality of the illustrations. Instead, I’d turn a page and find myself yelling to my husband, “Honey, look! The dinosaur’s pulling the guts out of this brontosaurus!!! Come watch!”. And he would and I’d try to read some other passage in the book and then yell, “Honey, look! You can make the two little men fight over the dinosaur bones with this one!!! Come watch!”. And he would and this would go on for about 40 minutes. Very few picture books have the ability to be precisely as cool to their adult consumers as to the children who are the supposed audience. Sabuda’s books are the exception to the rule and this dinosaur book is gonna knock the little suckers dead.Read more ›

  2. This pop-up book is absolutely stunning! I bought it for my 6 year old nephew and he absolutely flipped over it. Not only are there huge intricately designed pop-ups on each page, there are also 3 to 4 separate pop-ups under informative flaps on each page as well. This book is the best I have ever seen. I almost kept it for myself!

  3. While the text in this is very informative and perhaps a bit too much like a real encyclopedia… well heck, this is a great reference book on dinosaurs in a fabulous package. Sabuda (if you know his work) is a master, and has really captured the fun, the fear, and the feeling of all the really great dinosaurs! Great colors, amazing paper-fold engineering, and its similar in design to the alice in wonderland/wizard of oz. For those of you who dont know these books (and you should get them as well), the pages are designed to have a large center display, with several booklet fold outs on each page. Inside these booklets are miniture foldouts. Really, this allows for more popups per page, and some great space saving.

    I highly recommend this newest work! Kids and collectors alike, this is a jewel of any library.

  4. My 5 year old son just got this book from his grandparents and he absolutely loves it. As soon as it came he made me sit down with him and read the whole thing. He and his 3 year old brother were both fascinated by it. They’ve both been on a real dinosaur kick lately, and this book is great for them. It’s got real information, and the language is simple enough for them to understand (the 5 year old did anyway) without talking down to them at all. It was actually pretty informative even for me, and I’ve had to read a LOT about dinosaurs in the last few months. My son actually said “This is the book I always wanted!” I have a feeling even much older kids would enjoy this book…including the 38 year old I’m sure will read it when he gets home from work tonight.

    The only down side is I’m going to have to store it where our 3 year old can’t reach it. I’m sure if he ever got his hands on it unsupervised the pop-ups would be history. No pun intended.

  5. This book produced much glee in my house the day it arrived, gasps of joy and amazement, awe and delight. One of these days I’ll let my kids look at it, too. I enjoyed it so much that I promptly bought Sabuda’s “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and another Encylopedia Prehistorica volume, “Sharks And Other Sea Monsters.” They’re all sensational.

    So why only four stars? Three reasons. First, some of the pop-ups are so complex that they’re hard to put back properly – I have to tuck and arrange them so nothing gets bent. Second, some of the dinosaurs are a bit abstract. That’s fine for me, but I bought this for my little boy. Granted, I’m the one who plays with it, but in principle it ought to meet a five-year-old’s demands for realism as well as an adult’s desire for art. Third and most importantly, the information content of this book is quite limited. There are small pop-up booklets on every page, but they don’t add any substance. This book is supposedly aimed at a nine-year-old reading level, and most nine-year olds I know who are interested in dinosaurs want to know more than that a group of Victorian gentlemen held a dinner party in a dinosaur model. There’s room for much more content in this book than is provided, and that, I think, is an educational opportunity lost.

    I don’t take away any stars for the first two problems, and I give the story books five stars. That third issue costs both of the Encyclopedia Prehistorica volumes a star. But they’re still terrific. I’ve shown them to adult visitors, and they were all delighted and wanted to play with these books. “Mine!,” I cried. If my wife hadn’t made me share, I wouldn’t have. I’ll be giving the four Sabuda books I’ve bought so far to my son for his birthday and Christmas. His three-year-old sister will want to play with them and will be prevented from doing so, which means I have to find something just as fascinating as these but less fragile for her. I have my work cut out for me.

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