When Fish Got Feet, When Bugs Were Big and When Dinos Dawned, a Cartoon Prehistory of Life on Earth

When Fish Got Feet, When Bugs Were Big and When Dinos Dawned appeared in the fall of 2015. If the title sounds familiar, it’s because it consists of my three previous books for National Geographic Kids rolled into a single paperback volume.  I was delighted to have a chance to update some of the science (for instance the giant spider Megarachne turned out not to be a spider at all but a eurypterid, a kind of aquatic scorpion) and I also added ten new pages of activities and a new and improved family tree of the vertebrates.

When Fish Got Feet, When Bugs Were Big and When Dinos Dawned takes us on a stroll through 200 million years of life on Earth, from when plants and animals first crawled onto land in the Silurian Period all the way to the dawn of dinosaurs in the early Mesozoic. Along the way we will encounter fearsome fish, giant insects, towering trees, bizarre sea monsters and much more, served up with lots of illustrations and plenty of humor.

This book is for kids of all ages, from 7 to 107. It’s picture-based, of course, but it also packs in a whole lot of scientific information. So much, in fact, that Berkeley professor Cindy Looy assigns it as required reading to undergraduates taking her paleobotany course so they get an entertaining, visual overview of life on the planet prior to delving into more detailed scientific literature.

Praise for the When trilogy:

“Bonner is smashing. She has the hand of an artist, the mind of a scientist, and the humor of a stand-up comedienne.” – Kirk Johnson, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

“Every school and every family home with ‘smaller persons’ and those with an interest in science should have a copy of Hannah’s book on their shelves. If there is one book which makes earth science fun for youngsters or their teacher/parent presenters, this is it. Go and grab a copy on Amazon if it’s not already in your local bookstore.” — Roger Smith,

Where to buy: from any on line bookstore, or at your local bookstore.