Taking both the creative and scientific worlds by storm is 7-year-old Pritvik Sinhadc, perhaps the UAE’s youngest author, whose book When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth, published by the Dubai-based Sky Horizon Media, was launched at Magrudy’s Bookstore in Jumeirah over the weekend.
Ahead of his presentation, the young writer shared with us his passion for prehistoric creatures and being a paleontologist.
Sinhadc’s fascination with prehistoric creatures began at the age of just 9 months, when he first started asking questions on existence, gravity, reptiles and dinosaurs to his stunned parents.
When he was 14 months old, he was reading by himself.
When he turned 3, he dug further into prehistoric creatures, making his parents wonder if he was autistic. At the age of 5, his teacher at the Dubai British School was surprised by his knowledge of the biomechanics of land, water and flying creatures in the prehistoric eras and encouraged him further. His parents then realised it was a gift.
“The more he read, the more he questioned, the more he questioned, the more baffled he became, and we thought it was a passing phase, but the obsession with prehistoric creatures just increased,” says his mother, Indira Sinhadc.
When asked what fascinates him about dinosaurs, he says it’s their power, intelligence and size. “They are bigger than the animals we have today, they are stronger, smarter and faster. An elephant is the world’s largest land animal but a dinosaur would be 12 to 13 times bigger,” he said. “A Brachiosaurus would be 38 times bigger than an elephant.”
His favourite species include the Allosaurus, because it stood as tall as a giraffe and was “the terror of the Jurassic”.
“Also, the Spinosaurus, because it’s the biggest carnivore ever that eats fish and meat and it’s so fast, it’s bigger than the T Rex which is 40ft long and Spinosaurus is 60ft long,” says Sinhadc. “And the Suchomimus because only 12 skeletons have been found and it’s about the height of a two-storey house.”
When he is not reading or writing about dinosaurs, Sinhadc prefers to watch documentaries on the BBC or National Geographic channels, or to visit museums.
When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth focuses on the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, with facts on the biomechanics of almost all the major dinosaurs of those periods, in a format that appeals to both children and young adults.
Sinhadc goes into detail about birth processes, body systems, eating and behavioural patterns, and the environmental and scientific reasons for their extinction.
The idea for the book began a year ago when Sinhadc, who currently takes classes with students between the ages of 10 and 12 at the British School Science Club, presented a talk to fellow students. “When we heard Pritvik speak about dinosaurs, it was mind-blowing. We are very happy to work with him. He was there through the whole process of editing and choosing photos,” says Tegan Moss, the head of media relations at Sky Horizons Media. “I think he’s an inspiration and a role model.”
“My second book is about rare dinosaurs such as Spinosaurus, Baryonyx and Suchomimus – all fish-eating dinosaurs,” says Sinhadc, who expects it to hit the shelves by September.
“I’m thinking of a third book about radioactive mutation – if you put radioactive waste into an animal it can become bigger, stronger and more dangerous, at least 70 to 80 storeys high.”
Five thousand copies of his book have been printed, and Sinhadc has been awarded the Megastar Science CREST Award – a project-based awards scheme for the STEM subjects from the British Science Association, of which he is also the Young Science Ambassador.
The book is available from Magrudy’s Bookstore before a more widespread release and costs Dh37