BOOKS: A Monstrous Idea -but It Works Well; How to Keep Dinosaurs, by Robert Mash, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Pounds 12.99. Reviewed by Sophie Blakemore

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Blakemore

If you are losing sleep over how to control your deinonychus' gambling habit, having trouble stopping your microraptor wrecking your conservatory or agonising over which species of archaeopteryx would best suit your lifestyle -help is finally at hand.

Put away that antiquated history book, ignore the palaeontologists and get to grips with living with a real dinosaur, courtesy of zoologist Robert Mash.

Parents stumped by what to buy the little darlings for Christmas can learn all about the easy-to-train ornithomimus -an exciting alternative to a pony.

And farmers unwilling to splash the cash on electric sheep-shearers can read about the virtues of owning a 12-ft therizinosaurus, which will do the job in half the time.

This quick and easy to use guide, with beautiful illustrations, contains a dinosaur for everyone, whether as a pet, household help, homeguard, or to keep for eggs or meat (riojasaurus burgers are soon to be launched in a blaze of publicity). How To Keep Dinosaurs contains the full monty on almost 60 beasts from the lovable diplodocus to the terrifying tyrannosaurus.

Icons on every page indicate to the discerning buyer the likes, dislikes, eating habits, capabilities and danger areas of some of the most popular dinos in the world. …