Author Topic: Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series  (Read 1406 times)

Stuckasaurus

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Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series
« on: February 25, 2019, 08:59:44 PM »


If you've never given Abby Howard's "Earth Before Us" series a look before, you should get yourself a copy of each!
The series follows the adventures of Ms. Lernin and her young protege Ronnie as they travel throughout time and space learning about earth's past! The first book is called "Dinosaur Empire!", and covers the Mesozoic Era. Part 2 is called "Ocean Renegades!", and covers the Paleozoic Era. Part 3, due out later this year, is called "Mammal Takeover!", and covers the Cenezoic.
These books are truly fantastic; it's rare to see any books aimed at a younger/more casual audience that gets so in-depth. Abby Howard manages to work in quite complex topics in evolution and ecology, while explaining them in a way anyone can understand. She also manages to avoid the trap of focusing exclusively on the stars of each era; everything is presented within the full context of their superbly rich ecosystems, with rather obscure animals and even plants getting their due limelight.
Love in the time of Chasmosaurs did an excellent review of "Dinosaur Empire!" back when it came out:
https://chasmosaurs.blogspot.com/2017/08/dinosaur-empire.html
And I just posted a review of the first book myself at Dino Dad Reviews. I'll also be doing a review of "Ocean Renegades!" in the near future, and "Mammal Takeover!" as soon as it's released.
https://dinodadreviews.com/2019/02/25/dinosaur-empire-earth-before-us-1/











Stuckasaurus

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Re: Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2019, 09:02:27 PM »
Here's the book covers of the three entries in the series.






Brocc21

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Re: Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2019, 10:20:42 PM »
I did read the first book! I loved it! (I think I did at least)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 10:21:46 PM by Brocc21 »
Did you know if you drink the juice in a magic eight ball you can see the future!?!

Halichoeres

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Re: Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2019, 08:34:08 PM »
Wow, these look really nice! Kids today might be inheriting ecological catastrophe, but they sure have it made when it comes to dinosaur books.
In the kingdom of the blind, better take public transit. Well, in the kingdom of the sighted, too, really--almost everyone is a terrible driver.

My attempt to find the best toy of every species: http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3390.0

My trade/sale/wishlist thread: http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3299.0

Sometimes I draw pictures: http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=4856.0

gursar

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Re: Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2019, 07:48:34 PM »
I didn't expect to love them that much. I intended to give the books to my little niece as gift, but I can't resist the desire to keep them for myself  >:D

Gothmog the Baryonyx

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Re: Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2019, 10:50:26 PM »
I saw these mentioned on tumblr (I'm not a member but I read a few palaeo blogs). And I have to say it is one of the most wondrous things to ever exist. I am strongly considering buying this, just to support the cause.
Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, Archaeopteryx, Cetiosaurus, Compsognathus, Hadrosaurus, Brontosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Albertosaurus, Stenonychosaurus, Deinonychus, Maiasaura, Carnotaurus, Baryonyx, Argentinosaurus, Sinosauropteryx, Microraptor, Citipati, Mei, Tianyulong, Kulndadromeus, Zhenyuanlong, Yutyrannus, Borealopelta, Halzskaraptor, Caihong

Stuckasaurus

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Re: Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2019, 04:08:54 AM »


Hey everyone! I've finally got around to reviewing the second book in the Earth Before Us series: Ocean Renegades!
Abby Howard knocks it out of the park again. All the praise I had for Dinosaur Empire! applies to this adventure through the Paleozoic Era as well. It's entertaining, it's well illustrated, it's in short just fantastic scicomm. And check out that awesome Prionosuchus on the cover! Go read my full post at Dino Dad Reviews if you'd like to know more:
https://dinodadreviews.com/2019/06/23/ocean-renegades-earth-before-us-2/



« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 04:10:12 AM by Stuckasaurus »

Stuckasaurus

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Re: Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2019, 04:18:54 AM »


Hey everyone! I've finally got around to reviewing the second book in the Earth Before Us series: Ocean Renegades!
Abby Howard knocks it out of the park again. All the praise I had for Dinosaur Empire! applies to this adventure through the Paleozoic Era as well. It's entertaining, it's well illustrated, it's in short just fantastic scicomm. And check out that awesome Prionosuchus on the cover! Go read my full post at Dino Dad Reviews if you'd like to know more:
https://dinodadreviews.com/2019/06/23/ocean-renegades-earth-before-us-2/






You may have heard of the phrase "damning with faint praise", but I'm gonna turn that on its head and give this book some "praise with faint criticism". After scouring the book, this is literally the one legitimate error I found in the entire book: confusing the "dinosaur mummy" Borealopelta with Zuul. Given that they're both exceptionally preserved ankylosaurs that were announced around the same time, however, it's perhaps an understandable mistake to make, especially since Borealopelta didn't get its formal name until well into the news cycle.



There's also an Edestus with paired tooth rows in both jaws, rather than a single midline tooth row in each jaw, but since these weird sharks have been the focus of such a wide range of interpretation over the years, I'm not sure that I should count this as an actual "error", since the true appearance has only recently been determined.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 04:20:24 AM by Stuckasaurus »

Halichoeres

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Re: Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2019, 03:34:30 AM »
Oh man, that Paleozoic one looks great!
In the kingdom of the blind, better take public transit. Well, in the kingdom of the sighted, too, really--almost everyone is a terrible driver.

My attempt to find the best toy of every species: http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3390.0

My trade/sale/wishlist thread: http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3299.0

Sometimes I draw pictures: http://dinotoyblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=4856.0

Libraraptor

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Re: Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2019, 10:43:42 PM »
These books look really interesting to me.

Stuckasaurus

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Re: Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2019, 12:08:29 AM »
Mammal Takeover! is out now! Abby Howard completes her trilogy of books on the past, this time taking us on a whirlwind tour of the Cenezoic with Ronnie & Ms. Lernin. It's just about as good as the others, with my one minor criticism being that it felt like they didn't spend quite as much time spotlighting individual species as they did in the last two books.
You can read my full review of Earth Before Us #3 here:
https://dinodadreviews.com/2019/09/19/mammal-takeover-earth-before-us-3/


Stuckasaurus

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Re: Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2019, 12:14:14 AM »
Some examples of the art inside:



I think this scene best demonstrates what I mean about neglecting certain creatures.
I mean, I do you skip talking about the 3rd largest crocodilian of all time?!?
I appreciate the accurate Macrauchenia though.



Of course, you can't do a book about the Cenezoic, and Howard's discussion of human evolution is satisfyingly modern, with a thorough discussion of the "bushiness" of the human family tree, and all the side branches that we may or may not have interbred with.



Stuckasaurus

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Re: Abby Howard's Earth Before Us series
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2019, 04:03:35 AM »
Mark Witton recently posted an excellent interview with Abby Howard at his blog!
Check it out for some behind-the-scenes insight into the Earth Before Us series:
http://markwitton-com.blogspot.com/2019/12/interview-with-abby-howard-author-and.html