The Day of the Dinosaur, 1968
By L. Sprague de Camp, and Catherine Crook de Camp
I remember as a nine or ten year old going to the American Museum of
Natural History with my dad some time
around 1968 or 1969. My dad offered to buy me a book at the
museum bookshop. After perusing the titles I
narrowed my choices down to two books: Romer's "Vertebrate
Paleontology," or de Camp's "The Day of the
Dinosaur." I wanted the former, but my dad told me it cost too
much, so I ended up getting the latter. It was a
good choice as "The Day of the Dinosaur" quickly displaced Colbert's "Dinosaurs: Their Discovery and Their
World" as my favorite dino book.
L. Sprague de Camp was a prolific author of both fiction (especially
fantasy and science fiction) and non-fiction.
Many of his books, including this one, were coauthored by his wife,
Catherine Crook de Camp. In some ways
"The Day of the Dinosaur" is similar to Colbert's, Dinosaurs: Their Discovery and Their World,
Day of the Dinosaur" is slightly less technical (not that Colbert's
book is really that technical) and a more
interesting read. Indeed, the de Camps' book contains several of
the same illustrations that are in Colbert's book,
including several of the same Neave Parker illustrations. In
both books contain numerous Charles R.
Knight illustrations, although Colbert's book has more from the
Museum of Natural History collection,
whereas the de Camps' book contains more from the Chicago Field Museum
of Natural History collection.
Also, Colbert's book includes segments of Zallinger's Peabody murals,
whereas the de Camps' book has none.
It is interesting to see that Colbert is the first person acknowledged
by the de Camp's in their acknowledgment
The illustration of the Brachiosaurs and the Kentrurosaurus was drawn
for the book by noted sci fi illustrator Roy Krenkel.
The excellent illustration of the Chasmosaurus and Phobosuchus (which
is also contained in Colbert's Dinosaurs:
Discovery and Their World), is by Walter Ferguson.