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.