Forgotten Beasts: Amazing Creatures That Once Roamed the Earth by Matt Sewell


Forgotten Beasts: Amazing Creatures That Once Roamed the Earth
Author: Matt Sewell
Published October 4th, 2019 by Pavilion Books

Summary: A witty, colorful celebration of the amazing lost creatures of this planet; with a strong message of protection and conservation.

Matt Sewell’s follow-up to the mega-hit The Colorful World of Dinosaurs is a beautifully-illustrated large format look at the amazing beasts that time forgot – from the relatively well known, such as the sabre-toothed tiger and woolly mammoth, to the obscure monsters that walked the earth millions of years ago – many now forgotten. These beasts are arranged chronologically–from the strange invertebrate Opabinia that lived over 500 million years ago, to the Thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger, that became extinct in 1936. New findings are being made every year, and research is showing us exactly how these beasts looked and how they lived.

Creatures illustrated and described include:

Sabre tooth tigers and woolly mammoths
Glyptodon – an armadillo as big as a VW Beetle car
Megalodon – a monster 60 foot (18m) shark
Water King penguin – a red and grey penguin the size of a man
Ornimegalonyx – a huge Cuban flightless owl, the largest owl that ever existed, at over 3 feet (1m) tall
Deinotherium – a strange-looking and huge, elephant-like creature with tusks positioned on its lower jaw and curved, facing downwards
Short-nosed bear – a massive fearsome bear that kept North America human free
Megatherium – the giant sloth, as large as a modern elephant

Less celebrated than the dinosaurs, the range of beasts is equally impressive, every one a scary, amazing creature that actually stalked the planet. Like the dinosaurs, these beasts are awe-inspiring in their variety, with amazing details not seen on animals today and in a wide variety of furs, feathers and colors, making for a stunning collection of illustrations.

About the Creator: Matt Sewell, who has been described as “the Banksy of the bird world,” is an avid ornithologist and artist. He is the author of OwlsOur Garden BirdsOur Woodland BirdsOur Songbirds, and Penguins and Other Seabirds and has illustrated for the Guardian and Big Issue among many other publications. His art has been exhibited in London, Manchester, New York, Tokyo, and Paris.

Review: What a fascinating introduction to species of animals that used to walk on our Earth. As a reader, mom, and teacher I immediately enjoyed this book. Each spread includes a synthesized blurb about the animal and a large, colorful illustration that definitely catches the eye. While the book is science-driven, it is written in a way that many different levels of scientific understanding would find it interesting. I also really liked the choice of animals that were included because it wasn’t only animals that people know about already.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: I want to know more, and Trent wanted to know more, so I think when kids read this, they would want to know more also. So let’s jump off on this curiosity and dive into inquiry!

First, the book starts with a timeline and each animal says what time period they are from, but it does not show the timeline. I would love to take the timeline and place each animal on it.

Also, with the foundational knowledge shared in the book, students can jump into a full on inquiry project about animals of their choice looking at when they lived, what they’re related to in modern time, how they became extinct, etc. Then students can make a presentation for a gallery walk.

Discussion Questions: 

  • When did _______ live?
  • How many years ago was that?
  • What is _______ related to [modern animals]?
  • Why did ______ go extinct?
  • What other animals lived during the same time?

Flagged Passages: 

Read This If You Love: History, Dinosaurs, Animals

Recommended For: 


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**Thank you to Media Master Publicity for providing a copy for review!**

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