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Children's Nonfiction Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures

Plesiosaur Peril

illustrated by Daniel Loxton & Jim W.W. Smith

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2014
Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures, Boys & Men
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2014
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2
  • Reading age: 4 to 7


In the Tales of Prehistoric Life series, award-winning author and illustrator Daniel Loxton uses stunningly realistic, state-of-the-art, computer-generated images to vividly re-create the undersea world of the Jurassic period. Featured here are creatures called plesiosaurs, marine reptiles distantly related to land-based dinosaurs. We follow the tale of a baby Cryptoclidus, a type of plesiosaur, whose curiosity about her new world in the ocean leads her to wander away from her mother and the rest of her protective pod. As the baby happily explores and plays, she is suddenly confronted by an enormous Liopleurodon, a predatory and much larger plesiosaur. In a highly dramatic scene, the baby, with the help of the rest of her pod, makes a narrow escape from becoming the Liopleurodon's dinner.

The exciting adventure story and high-impact digital illustrations, each covering a two-page spread, will captivate children of this age, particularly boys, who are huge fans of prehistoric animals. But the book is also a terrific source of factual scientific information about the lives of plesiosaurs, their ocean habitat, the ocean's other inhabitants and the ways these creatures interacted with each other. As a special bonus, there is an information page describing these plesiosaurs at the back of the book. With its photo-realistic illustrations, this book would make an excellent resource for life science lessons on prehistoric animals and their environments, evolution and how modern scientists use their discoveries to make deductions about the animals of the distant past.

About the authors

Daniel Loxton is Editor of Junior Skeptic, the children's section of Skeptic magazine, a quarterly science education and science advocacy magazine published by the nonprofit Skeptics Society. Daniel is the author and illustrator of Evolution. He lives in Victoria, B.C.

Daniel Loxton's profile page

Jim W.W. Smith's profile page


  • Short-listed, Lane Anderson Award, Fitzhenry Family Foundation

Editorial Reviews

Loxton stirs current theories about plesiosaur behavior and physiology into his melodramatic episode, expanding on them in an informative afterword.—Kirkus Reviews

Well-researched and attractive, this book is sure to appeal to young paleontologists.—Library Media Connection

Loxton's detailed prose allows readers to discover the life of prehistoric creatures in an interesting and exciting way. He creates the perfect blend of scientific facts with child-friendly storytelling.—CM Magazine

Other titles by Daniel Loxton

Other titles by Jim W.W. Smith