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Re: your first paleo book was:
More support for the How and Why Wonder Book of Dinosaurs.
I've been following this thread with interest, and couldn't escape the vague
notion that I'd posted something similar before. Turns out it was from my
inaugural DML posted (9 Nov. 2006), excerpted here:
Dinoholic since: 1971. If you're at all curious about the hook, for me it
was the How and Why Wonder Book of Dinosaurs. For better or for worse, I was
also born with the collector bug. Among my collections, I've acquired a
growing array of items that others told me triggered their fascination with
dinosaurs, such as the February 1942 National Geographic issue, the
September 7, 1953 Life magazine, an assortment of Sinclair Oil-produced
stamps and booklets, and a mint-condition set of those beautiful 1963 Brooke
Bond tea cards, featuring the art of Rudolph Zallinger. It seems like each
decade had at least a few of these catalysts. Not sure if it's appropriate
discourse for the DML, but feel free to email me off-list if you want to
share the item that did it for you...
I inherited my first copy of How and Why... from my eldest sister at age 3.
I fondly remember all three of my sisters working with me to help me master
the pronunciations printed on the last page of the book. Can't imagine I
would have ever parted with it, but after an exhaustive search some years
back, I wound up replacing my much-loved, dog-eared original with a pristine
copy acquired through eBay. Only recently did I learn that the title was
later reprinted with a different cover. (IMHO, far inferior to the original,
which was indeed a classic). Pictures of both versions can be seen at
http://members.optushome.com.au/intabits/HowAndWhy.htm, along with the vast
majority of the other titles in the How and Why series. My family had quite
a few of them, and fair to say they were largely responsible for spawning my
interests in paleontology and science in general.