Reviewed for Fourth Grade, 2008

Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara

Have you ever visited Dinotopia? If you had, you would remember. This beautifully imagined island world, in which humans and dinosaurs live together side by side, has been the stuff of reader's dreams ever since the first book was published in 1992. Written and illustrated in stunning oil paint by James Gurney, the series has inspired a huge following of fans, children and adults alike. The books follow the exploits of a 19th century explorer, Arthur Denison, and his son Will, who survive a shipwreck only to find themselves stranded on an island teeming with dinosaurs! Much to their amazement, however, humans and dinosaurs have adapted to live in harmony. In Gurney's latest addition to the series, Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara, Arthur journeys to the eastern lands of Dinotopia, recording his amazing discoveries in his journal. His trip is packed full of interesting encounters, including a woolly mammoth, a giant sloth (who comes bearing gifts), and even a dinosaur that resembles a giant knife-clawed chicken! As always, it is Gurney's luminous paintings that transform the story from entertaining to out of this world. Glowing with sedate beauty, the illustrations will change your definition of dinosaurs for good. They are as lively, emotive, engaging, and accessible as human characters, and every inch as real to readers young and old. (Andrews McMeel, $29.95)