Cinematically, lightning strikes an ecclesiastical-looking building even before this wordless book's title spread, on which a bird flies into its barrel-vaulted hall. But this is no church: the figures that top these columns are Mesozoic, not medieval, while the dinosaur skeletons in the otherwise empty space suggest a surreal museum. As the bird flies from the ancient bones toward their shadows, cast by the lightning, it's transported (in an arresting visual segue) to the dinosaurs' era. Several entrancing spreads later, it flutters away from a mild-eyed giant to confront one less benign. Snapped up, it flutters down a gullet- -and out past airy ribs, into the museum. Rohmann gives the excursion compelling immediacy by using intense colors and arresting points of view. In his beautifully composed spreads, the museum's glowering sandstone hues are imaginatively played off against the early world's innocent sky blue and vegetable green, the tiny, lithe bird against the lumbering primeval giants, flesh against bone, shadow against substance. A splendid debut. (Picture book. 4-9) -- Copyright c1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.