Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs

By Master Books

Every culture from the beginning of civilization has had stories of dragons, and while some of these cultures attributed magical powers to these creatures, many of them listed them in ledgers alongside real animals.  Dragons asserts that these creatures may have indeed been real.  The book also makes the assertion that the term dragon may be synonymous with the dinosaur.  The book collects various accounts of dinosaurs through the ages, including a few recent urban legends.  I was also surprised to find that the Bible mentions dragons as real creatures 21 times. The format of foldouts and pullouts is geared towards juvenile reading, but I would rate the reading level at 5th grade or above. 

While I do find the commonality of the dragon legend to be an interesting feature of ancient cultures, I can’t say that this book did much to advance the argument of their existence at least not in a scholarly sense.  They ask the right questions, but the evidence presented is not altogether coherent or authoritative: Wikipedia was quoted on a couple of occasions.  Add to these damaging features a text that wasn’t proofread completely with many glaring misspellings and grammatical errors, and Dragons falls even further down the ladder of academic study.  The biblical references raised that bar tremendously, but the scholars involved could have done much better.

All that said, make no mistake, Dragons is an extremely entertaining read if you like dragon stories, and I look forward to my son reaching an age where he’ll enjoy it.

I received a review copy of this book from the publishers.  All opinions are my own.

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