In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More than 500 Million Years by David Elliott, illustrated by Matthew Trueman

In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More than 500 Million Years by David Elliott, illustrated by Matthew Trueman
Review Copy from Candlewick Press
The editor who paired David Elliott's playful, often thoughtful, poems with illustrator Matthew Trueman is BRILLIANT! Where Elliott's poems are, for the most part, on the shorter side, gently rhyming and humorous, Trueman's illustrations burst off the pages of this oversized book, their occasional ferocity tempered by the cool blues, greens and browns of Trueman's palette and his painterly style.
A timeline on the title pages breaks down the paleozoic, mesozoic and cenozoic eras into smaller periods, giving readers an idea of the range and also serving as a sort of table of contents for the creatures to come. As I read through In the Past, I was tempted to copy out almost every poem I read here to show you how wonderful they are. Reading "Arthopleura" and "Yutyrannus," both above, gives you a good sense of Elliott's humor and brevity, while "Astraspis," which has an absolutely stunning, ethereal illustrations, makes you think:

No jaws. 
No fins.
Only six inches long.
One note at the beginning
Of a never-ending song.

Of course this book will appeal to future paleontologists, but it truly has universal appeal for anyone who loves language, nature and amazing illustrations.



Also illustrated by Matthew Trueman

Also written by David Elliott


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