Big Babies (Hardcover)

Big Babies By Patrick O'Brien, Patrick O'Brien (Illustrator) Cover Image

Big Babies (Hardcover)


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For dinosaur lovers and fans of Steve Jenkins's Prehistoric Actual Size, this unexpected look at prehistoric life explores what is known about our favorite extinct creatures before they became massive, full-grown adults.

How big (or small) was your favorite dinosaur–as a baby? We see how some stack up, alongside childhood favorites such as a toy truck or a rubber duck. Did you know that T. rex hatchlings were only about the size of a turkey? Or that the huge, long-necked brontosaurus are said to be only eleven pounds at birth? 

In this early picture book, young readers learn that before dinos grew to be large and powerful, they started off as something much smaller to behold.
Patrick O'Brien is a full-time illustrator who has also authored twelve children books to date, including the Captain Raptor series; You Are the First Kid on Mars; Gigantic!: How Big Were the Dinosaurs?; A Pirate's Life for Me; and Steam, Smoke, and Steel. He has also worked for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and the Smithsonian, with his art appearing in magazines, newspapers, posters, greeting cards, and even on billboards. Patrick currently teaches at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD.
Product Details ISBN: 9781623543662
ISBN-10: 1623543665
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2024
Pages: 32
Language: English
A portrait gallery of baby dinos and dino cousins.

Going straight for the “AWWWW” reaction from viewers, O’Brien poses 11 big-eyed, usually fuzzy prehistoric hatchlings on plain white backgrounds in front of huge, slightly blurred parental legs that extend past the page tops. He doesn’t stint on the factual load, either. Along with identifying labels, each creature comes with an informative one- or two-sentence comment, such as, for the stegosaurus (“roofed lizard”): “This pint-sized critter grew into a leaf-eater that had a body the size of an elephant but a brain the size of a meatball.” Just for reference, a plate of meatballs is placed temptingly in front of the little stego…and all the rest of the dino tykes likewise come with either food (notably a box of doughnuts being thoroughly mangled by a tiny triceratops) or plastic toys ranging from a rubber ducky delighting a dinky Anatotitan (“giant duck”) to a race car zooming past a trio of downy velociraptors (“swift thief”). A baby T. rex (“tyrant lizard king”) gazing out sweetly, ensconced in a comparatively huge crown, is an especially adorable addition. Following a set of additional descriptive notes at the end, budding dino-fans will find silhouettes of the babies lined up on a comparative size chart—with a four-foot-tall human child towering commandingly over all.

Awwwwesomely cute.

Kirkus Reviews

The term “dinosaur” may conjure a towering Tyrannosaurus rex or lumbering stegosaurus, buteven the largest creatures had tiny beginnings. What might they have looked like when theywere young? Here, readers are invited to marvel at prehistoric youngsters and learn a few factsalong the way. Each baby gets its own adorable spread, and they’re all pictured next to a relatedmodern object (a toy car, a rubber duck), adding a sense of scale as well as whimsy. The focusstays primarily on the infant, with the adult only sometimes glimpsed as giant legs in thebackground. There are plenty of familiar faces—a triceratops with donuts on its horns or a clutchof downy velociraptors—but also in the mix are lesser-known creatures and non-dinosaurs likethe winged pteradon and aquatic elasmosaurus. A helpful height chart at the end sees thebabies compared to a four-foot-tall human and adds context to brief introductions. Thiselementary but eminently entertaining approach will have young readers considering prehistoricanimals in an entirely different light.