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When Bugs Were Big, Plants Were Strange, and Tetrapods Stalked the Earth: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life before Dinosaurs
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When Bugs Were Big, Plants Were Strange, and Tetrapods Stalked the Earth: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life before Dinosaurs

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A centipede as long as a couch? Trees so tall they touch the clouds? Amphibians changing into reptiles? These are just a few of the amazing life forms detailed in When Bugs Were Big....This lively new paperback tickles the reader’s funny bone while imparting tons of information about the animals, plants, and bugs that lived before the dinosaurs. Children will read "news re ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by National Geographic Kids
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  71 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is exactly the kind of book I would've gone nuts over, about 20 years ago. Heck, I'm pretty nuts about this book today. It isn't a paneled comic-book format, but rather text surrounded and supported by annotated illustrations, diagrams, and cartoons. (As synapsids are explained, a cartoon turtle declares, "I need that like I need a hole in the head!")
The book is a guide to the Carboniferous and Permian periods (the end of the Paleozoic), and Bonner keeps things pretty simple, but doesn't go
Kam Yung Soh
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This children's book covers the Carboniferous and Permian periods with interesting illustrations and facts about the various unusual creatures that lived during that period.

In that period, unlike the plants and animals that we are used to nowadays, very early ferns and invertebrates dominated the land. The insects, in particular, grew to huge, spectacular sizes. In the oceans, strange looking fishes and giant invertebrates hunted.

During the Permian, the books touches on the two major groups of a
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I've been on a bit of a research binge about the Permian priod lately (hopefully someday I'll be published and you'll know why) and this book was suggested to me as a very introductory guide to the late Paleozoic. I'm going to be reviewing this under my new category "books for kiddos", however, since they are the intended audience of this title.

As a book for older children -upper elementary through early middle school - this is a pretty delightful little work. It explains concepts in a very stra
Faith Walton
Oct 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
This book teaches kids about megafauna, huge bugs, and tetrapods. It goes deep into Earth's history to show them their size, how they lived, and what they ate. The book has fun illustrations to give kids something to compare it to. I even learned things while reading this book.

I was never a dinosaur person. This book had a lot of info in it, but I liked the pictures! I would say this is a good book, but it's just not something I would be personally interested in. It's got some funny moments in i
Camden C
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One reson I like this book is because it is about prehistoric life. This book also includs sort funny comic strips. This book takes place in the carbinifores/permian. In this book I learned more about prehistoric life. I recomend this book to people that are interested in animals prehistory or just funny books.
Just as awesome as the prior book!
Sami Snow
May 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was okay. This is not my style of book but definitely could be intriguing for people who love non-fiction.

Trait: Ideas
AR: 6.4
DRA: 60
Nov 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing

This is a fabulous informational book! As I was searching the shelves of the Juvenile/Young Adult section of my local library, I saw the title of this book and immediately decided to pick it up and take a closer look. The ability of a title to draw in a reader can be the first sign of a good book. Upon further perusal, I noticed other elements that could make this a good informational book. It had bright, crisp illustrations. Pictures of Carboniferous and Permian (pre-Triassic and Jurassic) era
Collin Powell
This book talks about the plants that looked like trees back before the time of humans, how we discovered these organisms as fossils, continental drift, insects of enormous size compared to today, early examples of fish and extinct 4-legged land animals.
I wasn’t as big a fan of this book because there was just so much going on in the book with so many sections that only a little bit could be talked over in each section. It seems like it should have been more limited. They probably tried to do wa
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Covers the Carboniferous and Permian eras, and explains forms of life during this time. The illustrations are fun and partly made up of comics. Wonderfully funny and sassy. Unfortunately it's a bit outdated (published in 2004, it reflects the now-incorrect label of Megarachne as a spider, rather than a eurypterid), and this is the only reason why I have to knock a star. As other reviewers have pointed out, it's easy to find good books on the Mesozoic, but the Paleozoic is a bit trickier.

Alice Sujata
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
While there's a seemingly endless supply of juvenile books about the Mesozoic age, good ones covering the Paleozoic are scarce. After reading The Story of Life On Earth by Margret Munro, we used this book to dive deeper into the details of the evolution of life during this era.

The Carboniferous and Permian periods are explained in simple terms with interesting facts about both plant and animal life during these ages. Fun comics and jokes about the time are scattered throughout and help explain t
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-non-fiction
Published by National Geographic, this book deals with the Carboniferous and Permian periods of Earth’s history. Told in an easy-to-understand manner plus great pictures and cartoons to go along with the explanations make this a fun, informative read. There are charts, maps, and silly drawings to capture students’ attention. A lot of information is packed into this thin volume. I could see students picking this up more than once.
Abby Johnson
Dec 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book explores the plants and animals of the Carboniferous and Permian eras, way before dinosaurs were around. With cartoons and many detailed illustrations, Bonner brings this prehistoric world to life. Her books really make me realize that in the history of the world, humanity is nothing more than a drop in the bucket. Big ideas are simplified and made fun and interesting. Wahoo!
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fun to read, good pictures and humor.
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: evolution, science
The perfect childrens book.
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pink, purple
Awesome book! Explains a lot about pre-dinosaur species (especially reptiles and amphibians), which usually get short shrift. :)
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HANNAH BONNER's natural illustrations have graced many publications including the best-selling Scholastic Science Dictionary and three award-winning National Geographic Kids titles, including When Bugs Were Big, Plants Were Strange, and Tetrapods Stalked the Earth, a Booklist Top 10 Science Book for Youth and included in the New York Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing. ...more

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