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Vintage Dinosaur Art

Vintage Dinosaur Art: Prehistoric Animals (Purnell Library of Knowledge)

Vintage Dinosaur Art

Purnell’s prehistoric animal books of the 1970s – of which there were several, of varying quality (as mostly featured on LITC Mk 1) – attract a great deal of nostalgic fondness from people, uh, a little older than me. The fact that their output seemed to dry up from the 1980s onwards becomes a lot more explicable when one learns of how the company fell into the hands of notorious crook and amateur yachtsman Robert ‘Cap’n Bob’ Maxwell, and consequently…

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Vintage Jurassic Park Covers!

Vintage Dinosaur Art

It all started a week or two ago, when my partner Maartje found a Dutch translation of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park somewhere. It is an original 1991 edition. This means the cover image had been produced before the movie was made. It is necessarily completely free of the iconography of the film that would come to overshadow the novel, and indeed overshadow all other dinosaur media. That logo, that skeleton, that font, the designs of those dinosaurs and those characters…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: Dinosaurs (St. Martin’s Press) – Part 1

Vintage Dinosaur Art

You know how we’re always reviewing books that are so big that our scanners have trouble with them? We always have to scrape our images together from two, sometimes four, separate scans. It’s getting tiresome. Let’s do a small book. I found a book that is absolutely teeny tiny, smaller than my hand. Scanning this one was no trouble at all, look. The scan probably appears bigger on your screen than the real thing. I’ve said nothing at all about…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: Extinct Monsters and Creatures of Other Days – Part 2

Vintage Dinosaur Art

A while ago we had a look at Extinct Monsters, a book from 1892 by H. N. Hutchinson and illustrated by Joseph Smit. Now, we’re going all the way to 1910 for the the new, revised, expanded edition of Extinct Monsters by the same author, that reflects almost two decades of scientific discovery. This new version of the book is the one that has the awesome extended title “…and Creatures of Other Days“. The ageing Joseph Smit, Dutchman in England,…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: Giant Dinosaurs

Vintage Dinosaur Art

As a slim paperback from the 1970s aimed at very young, beginner readers, and published by Scholastic, you might well expect Giant Dinosaurs to be yet another book filled with Charles Knight knock-offs. And about half of it is. However, the other half features – quite unexpectedly – amusing cartoons of dinosaurs being a nuisance in the modern world. It’s making learning fun! Giant Dinosaurs was first published in 1973, with this edition arriving in 1979. Erna Rowe wrote the…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: Extinct Monsters and Creatures of Other Days – Part 1

Vintage Dinosaur Art

We at LITC are the historians of prehistory, the rememberers of the forgotten, the detectives of dinosaurs. As the palaeontologist diligently searches the rocks and sediments, looking for traces of ancient life, so it is our calling to unearth the most dusty and ponderous tomes of outdated palaeontology, looking for ancient life reconstructions. And thus we come once more to the Victorians. Not the pioneers of palaeontology like Anning, Mantell, Buckland and the wretched Owen, but the second generation. Those…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: In The Presence of Dinosaurs – Part 2

Vintage Dinosaur Art

So here I am once more, in the playground of the finer arts. This is the 21st century, and we’re looking at one of the definitive dinosaur books of the year 2000, illustrated or rather painted by the talented Larry Felder. If you’ve seen part one, you’ll know Larry’s depictions of Triassic and Jurassic creatures was, gorgeous though they may have been, somewhat indebted to Walking With Dinosaurs. In the Cretaceous chapters of In The Presence of Dinosaurs, his work…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: The World of Dinosaurs (The Question and Answer Books)

Vintage Dinosaur Art

If there’s one thing children love, it’s asking questions. And if there’s one topic that inspires more questions than any other, it’s probably dinosaurs! Needless to say, publishers have long since learned that the Question and Answer format makes for a quick, easy way to stock store shelves with titles that seek to provide those curious kids with the answers they so desperately seek. Does this one accomplish that lofty goal? Or at least provide us with some pretty pictures…

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T. rex and Triceratops in Speaking of Dinosaurs

Vintage Dinosaur Art: Speaking of Dinosaurs

Vintage Dinosaur Art

Dinosaurs have encouraged a great many kids to improve their reading skills – best way to find out all about ’em, after all – so it’s only natural that books of a saurian bent have appeared in a number of reading schemes through the years. (I’ve certainly covered a few before – just don’t ask me to find them in the haystack.) Speaking of Dinosaurs was first published in 1979 (with this edition arriving in 1983) as part of the…

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: In The Presence of Dinosaurs – Part 1

Vintage Dinosaur Art

As previously observed, our 20-year rule for what does and does not count as Vintage Dinosaur Art means that we are now tentatively beginning to review 21st-century palaeoart. Nevertheless, I had to resist using the “vintage-ish” stamp for this one. As the 2000’s pool for VDA widens, and as our own aging brains start entering a stasis when we can’t meaningfully distinguish between 10, 5 and 2 years ago, we begin to come across books that feel nearly contemporary. Written…

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