Dinosaurology, the newest entry into the Ology series of interactive books that present themselves as scientific journals chock full of artifacts, flaps, fold-outs and envelopes, hides its inspiration in a brief letter at the end of the book from Sir Conan Doyle dated June 4, 1930. In his letter to the president of the British Association of Intrepid Explorers, Doyle explains that his good friend Colonel Percy Fawcett sent him the journals from his expedition to South America in 1907, sponsored in part by Doyle, emphatically asking him not to share his findings with anyone. Doyle reveals that their friendship ended when he published his novel Lost World, Fawcett finding it too revelatory of his secret expedition, despite the fact that Doyle claimed it was fiction. Doyle ends his letter hoping that the Association will use Fawcett's journals to find Yannapalu.
The pages between these two letters document Fawcett's journey to South America and Yannapalu, the island of the dinosaurs. Fawcett includes cultural information about the people of the island, geographical information about the changes that created land bridges, and lots and lots of information about dinosaurs. Sprinkled in the fictional story about Dinosaur Island is factual information about dinosaurs, prehistoric plant life and the early scientists who studied their fossils. There are samples of finely ground dinosaur horn, a pouch of jewels and a sample of shed Allosaurus skin.
Fans of James Gurney's Dinotopia, first published in 1992, the gorgeously illustrated documentation of a secret island where sentient dinosaurs and shipwrecked humans coexist happily, will appreciate Dinosaurology. Fans of Dinosaurology should absolutely seek out Dinotopia, which was also made into a pretty decent miniseries in 2002 and a much less decent animated movie. It was also adapted into a chapter book series, now out of print.
Source: Review Copy