The cast of characters includes Masiakasaurus, a fierce some beast whose mouth bristled with serrated, slightly hooked, forward-poking teeth; Deinocheirus with his ungainly long arms and huge triple claws; Epedendrosaurus with a tiny body and pinky fingers as long as his arms; and flat-faced Dracorex hogwartsia, the "dragon king of Hogwarts," named after Harry Potter's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Paleontologist Josh Smith uses clear and informed text to tell kids what we know and what we are still guessing about this collection of odd-looking monsters, including how scientists think they used their individual bizarre characteristics. In his introduction, life-long dinosaur enthusiast John Updike gives young readers a new perspective on the sheer weirdness of dinosaurs by turning our relationship with them on its head: "How weird might a human body look to dinosaurs?" he asks. "That thin and featherless skin, that dish-flat face, that limp upright stance, those feeble, clawless five digits at the end of each limb, that ghastly utter lack of a tail--ugh. Whatever did this creature do to earn his place in the sun, a well-armored, nicely specialized dino might ask."