It’s official… The *New* Big Golden Book of Dinosaurs is advertised at Amazon!

Sixty years ago children and dinosaur fans in general marvelled at the great illustrations of Rudolph Zallinger (both at the Yale Museum famous mural and at children books like Dinosaurs And Other Prehistoric Reptiles)… Artistically his stylish artwork remain a landmark, but Random House decided that given that there is an abyss between what was dinosaur science then and what we know about dinosaurs today it was about time that the Golden Book of Dinosaurs had a drastic revamping.

BigGBofDinosB2Brachiosaurus: from the iconic image of perennial swamp-dweller back in the Fifties to land-strutting and conifer roamer as we see it today. And Allosaurus? Well, Zallinger inspired the Marx toys I used to play with when I was a little kid (dragging tail an all)… but now we think of it as the nimble lion (or at least the leopard) of the Jurassic. Many grew up with The Golden Book of Dinosaurs and Other Reptiles in the late Fifties, Sixties and even the Seventies. It has been quite a challenge to completely re-do it. I feel fortunate (and humbled… never pretended to fill in Zallinger’s shoes) to have been given  the opportunity  to re-work the piece of memorabilia, once again with my partner in a series of books for children: the legendary Dr. Robert T. Bakker. With his palaeontological wisdom and imagination and his inimitable style, together we have had the challenging responsibility of the updating and rehashing of this also legendary, classic, “cult” item.

And it has been a mammoth task. Despite the obvious cover reference, we don’t pretend a direct comparison between the two books or indeed the artwork… we just wanted to show of how dramatically our view of dinosaurs has changed in only sixty years, using as a vehicle a publication that has been familiar to everybody fall these years.

Given that for technical reasons we spent an over long time to finish it (more than two years), it comes without saying that we had to keep changing and updating the enormous stream of new information we get from dinosaurology these days…  and all is captured  here. It is updated to the last minute! I have applied every possible digital and non-digital technique in anchoring Dr. Bob’s overflowing, expert narrative… and I’m hoping that the results are not disappointing. You will be the judge.

I am not allowed to show more than the cover for the time being (the book will be on sale in September… yes we will have to wait that long unfortunately!),  but in the meantime in this Blog I will be showing once in a while  snippets and artwork outtakes of the book that couldn’t make it to the final version… or artwork that differs drastically from what you are going to see there. There’s a lot of new stuff in my vaults now…Be prepared for a really thrilling ride in vertebrate evolution… just to give a little advance notice: any of my old T. rex  depictions will become outdated instantly… and this book (and Dr. Bob Bakker) are  to be hold responsible for it!Golden Book Of Dinois coverB

About luisvrey

Paleo Illustration
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14 Responses to It’s official… The *New* Big Golden Book of Dinosaurs is advertised at Amazon!

  1. Whoa! That’s a book I have during my childhood… An awesome blast from the past indeed! 😀

  2. Herman Diaz says:

    I saw the Amazon ad for this yesterday &, while I was hoping for a new adult dino book, it’s still pretty awesome to see 1 of my favorite kids dino books being re-made by both 1 of my favorite dino paleontologists & 1 of my favorite dino artists (I especially like the homage to the original cover). I do have 2 questions, though:
    1) Were your “Dinosaurs!” & “Prehistoric Monsters!” meant to be re-makes of Peter Zallinger’s “Dinosaurs” & “Prehistoric Animals”? I always thought so, but wasn’t sure.
    2) Any idea if/when there’ll be a new adult dino book by Bakker? Just checking.
    Many thanks in advance.

    • luisvrey says:

      Neither Dinosaurs or Prehistoric Monsters were remakes of Zallinger (or even pretended to be influenced by him)… I have never been really influenced by Zallinger stylistically. However you can find in one of those books a homage to Z. Burian, whom I admire even more. I have no idea when Bakker will be doing another adult book… I keep pushing him to do so though!
      And believe me, this Golden Book of Dinosaurs is scheduled as a “kids book” but only in name… the artwork is anything but children oriented… the treatment is meant for adults or real paleo-buffs mostly! Unfortunately some of the original artwork had to be cut or modified for this book… the uncut versions and outtakes will see the light somewhere else.

      • Herman Diaz says:

        1stly, sorry for not getting back to you sooner.

        2ndly, the 2nd part of your reply reminded me of another question: Is this book written at the same level as the original? I ask b/c when I read the latter, it didn’t feel like reading a kids book, but an adult book w/long wordy chapters (in a good way, of course). That & the fact that, like the definite adult books, Amazon doesn’t list a reading level for the original makes me think that its an adult or all-ages (I.e. Not “for kids, but simply suitable for them to pick up and read”: ) book. If so, then that’s good enough for me, although I’d recommend talking to someone at Amazon about changing this book’s description to reflect that (I.e. Removing the reading level stuff).

        BTW, I also wanted to let you know that I recently posted “Good, semi-good, and bad dino sources” ( ) & said encyclopedia is an important part of it. I hope that I did your work justice. Many thanks again for being awesome.

      • luisvrey says:

        I also recommend to forget I consider a wise move to remove the reading level rating… for me the book is an all-ages book… however while my illustrations were meant to be all-ages, Bakker had very much in mind an audience approach starting with fourth graders (that was a demand from Random House too). Unfortunately it couldn’t go all the way of the Holtz Encyclopaedia. It was note meant to be like that either. Maybe next time…

      • Herman Diaz says:

        When I said “said encyclopedia” in my previous reply, I meant “you & Holtz’s encyclopedia”. Sorry about that & the back-to-back replies

  3. Piotr Crittenden says:

    Hello! Will this book have any new species in it?

    • luisvrey says:

      The species selected are pretty standard, but there are quite a few surprises… specially in the “fluffy dinosaur” section… You will see

  4. James says:

    Will the book have the similar stories, or will it be more fact based? I would love to see an updated version of the “Brontosaurus” and Allosaurus scene!

    • luisvrey says:

      No. It will be virtually all new and all the scenes will be different. The approach is going to be also very different and Bakker text;s are… well, very definitively in Bakker’s style! After all we are talking about a complete update of a 1950’s book… just for starters you should see how different the initial and final maps of dinosaur distribution around the world are!

      • James says:

        Ahh yes, I remember the strange early Cretaceous world of Iguanodon, Ankylosaurus, various Hadrosaurs and Gorgosaurus. As for the dino distribution maps, they really needed a remake!

  5. MrGiganotosauro says:

    Hello Mr. Ray, this book attracts me a lot, when it comes out I’ll try to get it for me. I have a question: will attend the Giganotosaurus in the book?

    Anyway, I love the cover art!

    • luisvrey says:

      Unfortunately no. Giganotosasurus will only be in the Cretaceous world dinosaur distribution map that closes the book. And yes… the maps are updated alright… with many more dinosaurs than the ones that were in the original.

  6. Pingback: BOOK REVIEW: The Big Golden Book of Dinosaurs | The Dispersal of Darwin

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