The BIG Picture Book, by John Long

The Universe formed out of clouds of gases
(or was it always there—
everywhere atoms buzzing with energy?
The Universe is a mystery.
The beginning of all things is a mystery.

The Big Picture Book explores the mystery of the Universe and of our Earth in this stunning exploration of the birth of Earth and of life as we know it. The book takes the form of a timeline, with each double page spread being one step on the timeline, from 12 billion years ago when the Universe first formed, until today, and even takes a glimpse at what the earth might be like in another 50 million years.

With simple text, author and palaeontologist John Long explains concepts such as the Big Bang, the formation of the solar system, the beginnings of life on earth and the development of the continents. The illustrations by Brian Choo present specualitive glimpses of each time period and are complemented by by photos of fossils, landscapes and the stars.

This offering will fascinate young starlovers and enquiring minds and the photographs and illustrations will captivate.

The BIG Picture Book, by John Long and Brian Choo
Allen & Unwin, 2005

Journey to the Dawn of Time, by John Long

When they were children, Sarah and Peter discovered a mystical cave near Devil’s Roost – and travelled in the cave to the time of the dinosaurs. Now, they are grown up, and their lives have been influenecd by that magical experience – Sarah is a palaentologist and Peter has written a science fiction novel.

Together, the two revisit the cave, hoping to once more travel through time and learn more about prehistoric times. However, they are not expecting the journey to be a quest, where the future of the Earth rests in their hands. Accompanied by their young cousin, Maddy and Djarringa, an Aboriginal time travller and his grandson Ben, they must visit different time periods and collect the three crystals which may control their destiny – and that of all civilization.

Journey to the Dawn of Time, is a sequel to author John Long’s 1997 title Mystery of Devil’s Roost. In the six years between the two titles, Long has developed a less formal style, making this a better flowing book. Journey to the Dawn of Time will appeal to young fans of time travel tales as well as those with an interest in dinosaurs and prehistory.

Journey to the Dawn of Time, by John Long
Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2003

Mystery of Devil's Roost, by John Long

Peter thinks staying with his aunt and uncle will be boring. His sister Sarah thinks it will be cool – she’s determined to find a dinosaur bone for herself. Neither can predict the adventure they will have.

As they explore the area around Devil’s Roost, in the hills above their uncle’s farm, the children see a mysterious light in a dark patch of trees. When they explore it they find a hidden cave, with walls lined with Aboriginal paintings. What is interesting about these paintings is that they depict dinosaurs and animals which existed millions of years before humans. How could the artists have known what they looked like?

The mystery is only solved when something incredible happens. There is a solar eclpise and, in the dark of the cave, a crystal glows suddenly bright. When the children leave the cave they find they have been transported back in time. Their amazing adventure has begun.

Mystery of Devil’s Roost is the first fiction title of palaentologist and museum curator, John Long. In many places Long’s writing seems to lapse into his non-fiction style, with characters reciting lengthy explanations of time periods and animals. This can prove distracting for the reader interested in the adventure of the story, but may appeal to the youngster with a scientific bent.

Mystery of Devil’s Roost, by John Long
Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1997