This project had something of a “soft opening”, since I’d been posting on Instagram as the Dino Dad for a short while before I ever wrote my first book review. Thus, I haven’t really kept track of anything I would consider an “anniversary date” for Dino Dad Reviews. However, by the time my birthday rolled around last year, I’d only completed two reviews, Dinosaur Roar! and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, so now feels like as good a time for a retrospective as any! I’ll discuss a few of my favorite reviews up to this point, then move on to future plans, both reviews already in the pipeline, as well as interesting products I have on my radar.
I’ve published about 32 actual reviews as of the writing of this post. Being a random dino nerd of no particular importance, I don’t have a particularly wide reach yet, but things have definitely started picking up! The Ultimate Dinopedia (Second Edition) and Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! both enjoyed a longstanding status as my most popular reviews, racking up double the page views of my other most read posts over the months. They were both completely blown out of the water by two of my most recent reviews, however, the short film Sharp Teeth and the online runner game THE BIG DIE. I’m under no illusions that I’ve made the big time, however, as several reviews published between these two hits lag far behind. Rather, I simply had the good fortune of promoting the right thing at the right time. Ultimately, I’m just here to point people towards other, more interesting things, so I’m just glad to have helped so many people find those two wonderful productions!
Of I the reviews I’ve written so far, I’d say I’m most proud of my review of Jason Chin’s Grand Canyon. This national park has always held a special place in my heart, and the book really struck a chord with me. Feeling a sudden burst of inspiration, I more or less completed the entire thing in its current form in under an hour, and am still pleased with the result! Check it out if you haven’t; it’s a real gem many other paleontology nerds may not have heard of.
I’m particularly pleased with my review of the more adult-oriented book Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline, even if (or perhaps because) I spent half of it waxing nostalgic about a fridge magnet. I feel like I Am NOT a Dinosaur! and Hannah Bonner’s When Fish Got Feet, Sharks Got Teeth, and Bugs Began to Swarm turned out rather nicely as well. I enjoyed writing up Mammoth is Mopey, The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, and Grandmother Fish, though I’m not sure I did them the justice they deserve.
I think I had the most fun reviewing Mike Tharme’s fossil magnets, since I received unpainted versions and did a painting activity with the neighbors. They filmed it for their YouTube vlog channel, but they still haven’t uploaded it, which has unfortunately delayed the second part of my review. Keep an eye out here for it! I’ll get it up here eventually. I had so much fun that I can say with certainty I’ll definitely be ordering more magnets in the future, so maybe I’ll post the results of a future activity time here again then.
I’ve got several books on hand waiting to be reviewed; I just need to figure out what order I want to do them in, and where to squeeze in the necessary time between parenting two crazy kids.
As a fan of Hannah Bonner’s “When” series, I intend to get around to reviewing the compilation volume When Fish Got Feet, Bugs Were Big, and Dinos Dawned, which spans the Paleozoic Era through the Triassic Period. Speaking of the Paleozoic, I’ve also been meaning to feature a pair of books on prehistoric bugs: Paleo Bugs, a companion to the Paleo Sharks book I reviewed during Shark Week, and Bugs! (Explorer), a companion to The Nature Timeline Wallbook I’ve also previously reviewed.
I’ve also got a trio of books on Mary Anning I’ve been itching to review as well. From Stone Girl Bone Girl, to The Fossil Girl, to Mary Anning’s Curiosity, each one brings something different to the table. Also on the subject of awesome female paleontologists, I’ll be reviewing Daring to Dig in the near future as well (my boys love reading it, though I think they mostly just like reading about Karen Chin and the coprolites!).
Items I’m Looking Forward To
Everything else I’ve mentioned so far I have in hand, waiting to be reviewed, but these next few are items I’m planning on purchasing sometime after I’ve made some progress on my backlog. I’m really excited about these though, and wanted to promote them here now in case it’s a while before I get around to them! (If any of my readers feel like supporting Dino Dad Reviews by sending in a copy of one of these, or any other books for that matter, I certainly wouldn’t turn them down! I’ll likely bump them up in my list of books to be reviewed if I do receive any.)
I was following illustrator Dieter Braun on Instagram during the lead up to this book’s publication, and I’ve got to say the illustrations really catch my eye! The format seems similar to Greg Paul’s field guides, but with stylized life reconstructions in place of the usual skeletals.
Similar to Daring to Dig, this book highlights important women in the field of paleontology. Since I’ve had the former for a while, I’ll probably wait till I’ve actually reviewed that one to purchase this, but it’ll be interesting to compare the two!
Again, this book concerns women in paleontology, though this time we get it in the form of a story about a young, dinosaur-loving girl on a class field trip to the natural history museum. It’s a nice story about self-confidence and embracing one’s passions.
As someone from a strong Swedish-American background, this cute-looking book by Maja Säfström has been on my radar for some time. I’ll definitely be buying this in anticipation of a big planned family reunion coming up; I know the relatives will be amused to find my interests have aligned with our heritage in some oblique way!
While this blog mostly focuses on books and other media, I’m also an avid collector of dinosaur models, and enjoy geeking about them when I get the chance. I don’t write about them often, since that’s kinda the Dino Toy Blog‘s territory, but I’m so excited about these two, they will definitely be making an appearance at Dino Dad Reviews whenever I finally get my hands on them!
Allosaurus has long been my favorite dinosaur, but no toy I’ve come across has ever really done it’s sleek, sexy, sports-car aesthetic justice. This upcoming model by Safari Ltd blows my mind! It’s everything I could have wanted in an Allosaurus toy! It’s got a dynamic pose, vibrant colors, and most importantly, that beauty of form that captured my heart in the first place.
If you’re an avid reader of National Geographic, you probably remember the “dinosaur mummy” that featured in a cover article last summer. It had no named at the time, but has since been dubbed Borealopelta. What’s really amazing about this dinosaur is the fantastic condition it was found in. It soft tissues had fossilized, preserving all its armor in its life position, and was so well preserved scientists were even able to make out the animal’s color! All this means that this toy by CollectA is probably one of the single most accurate dinosaur toys ever made, even right down to the paint scheme! It’s a definite must-have for my collection.
Well, that’s all for now! If you’ve made it this far, thank you for sticking through this ridiculously self-indulgent post! I hope it’s not too obnoxious hearing me talk about myself or the things I want to buy. I promise I’ll have more of the usual up real soon!