Last week, on the first day of PiBoIdMo, Tammi Sauer wrote the Day 1 post on the importance of a good title. Both as an idea generator and a book seller. My PPBF selection this week proves her right! I saw this title and HAD to take it home.
Title: BARNUM'S BONES
Author: Tracey Fern
Illustrator: Boris Kulikov
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux/
Margaret Ferguson Books, 2012
Themes: Biography, Dinosaurs
Audience: 5-9 years
Opening: "Something exciting happened in Carbondale, Kansas, on February 12, 1873. The Brown family had a baby boy." (honestly, this isn't my favorite opening, but I like where it goes!)
Synopsis: Barnum's Bones tells the story of one of America's greatest fossil finders. The author's note acknowledges that Barnum Brown wasn't the best paleontologist in terms of keeping scientific records and field notes, but he is responsible for unearthing a tremendous number of fossils, including the first complete skeleton of Tyrannosaurus rex.
What I liked about this Book: Although T. rex is one of the most famous dinosaur names, until I read this book I hadn't heard of the man who found it. I love learning something new like that! Mr. Brown didn't just stumble across his finds, he worked for years and years, often collecting "nothing but sunburn and mosquito bites." After a recent visit to Luray caverns where many of the stalactites were plundered for trophies, I wish fossil expeditions had been less about blasting and plowing and more about preservation, but I believe this is an accurate depiction of a time when people didn't realize that these treasures are limited. Barnum Brown was apparently quite a character, dressing in fashionable clothes out on the range. Here's a picture of my favorite illustration: Mr. Brown dancing with an ethereal T. Rex.
Activities/Resources: The author has an 11-page teacher's guide available on her site along with links to several dinosaur related web resources. The Classroom Bookshelf includes more curriculum-related resources specific to this text. My family enjoyed the BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs broadcast, and there is fascinating information, including games and puzzles at their website (even a dino dung guessing game!). If you want to try your luck at fossil-finding, Mental Floss has a June 13, 2013 article about ten states with sites open for fossil hunting. Remember, you can't pick up ANYTHING in most state or federal parks. Take only pictures, leave only footprints!
This review is part of PPBF (perfect
picture book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. Along
with tons of writing wisdom, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect
Picture Books. #PPBF
Thanks for stopping by! I love to read your comments about my choices.
Wow kids all love the T-Rex, but you're right, who knows the paleontologist who found the remains? Great choice!ReplyDelete
Glad I'm not the only one who didn't know! I wondered.Delete
This book sounds fascinating. I so love unusual biography. We're looking forward to digging this out of the library. Thanks!ReplyDelete
At my library, it was shelved with the story books, not the NF. Not sure why since it has a long list of references in the back.Delete
We just saw this title on the Scholastic order form front page and thought WOW! Good post. We've got it ordered and I can't wait to read it.ReplyDelete
Oooh! It's interesting that Scholastic got paperback rights!Delete
I didn't know the name or the story behind the man who found the first T-Rex. Kids who love dinosaurs will love this great find. I love realistic.ReplyDelete
This guy was apparently quite a character.Delete
My son would love this. I don't know Mr. Brown either.ReplyDelete
So glad to find one for your son, Catherine!Delete
Kulikov is just another favorite illustarator - lol! Definitely looking for this one. Thanks, Wendy.ReplyDelete
It's fun to read when the illustrations take you right into the story. And that ghostly T-rex is my favorite.Delete
You are right, Wendy; we are featuring more non-fiction PBs this month. Another good one!ReplyDelete
I just post the great ones I've found in no particular order, except for a holiday title or two. But we do seem to have leaned to NF of late. Now I can't remember what I was planning for next week. . .Delete
This looks like a winner, Wendy! Non-fiction picture books are not my forte in writing...but I LOVE reading them. Perhaps if I read enough of the good ones like this one, I will be able to write my own.:) :)ReplyDelete
Great review and I appreciate your 'unearthing' this treasure.:)
With everything I dig up, it's good to find a few gems! Good NF is sparkly and fun, even dino digging ones. :)ReplyDelete
This looks great. It's amazing to see such a great story told this way. Thanks Wendy!ReplyDelete
This looks like a fun PB! :DReplyDelete
Oh my! not sure about the title grabbing me, but the cover illustration sure did. Thanks, Wendy!ReplyDelete
Wow! Cool book! I've never heard of Barnum Brown before, isn't that awful? Poor guy - obscured by his own discovery :) Thanks for adding this one!ReplyDelete
Darn it, I was just reading this one and pondering it for PPBF. Great minds, Wendy. Great minds.ReplyDelete