Before I could read words, I "read" books by looking at pictures. My favorite book at the time was my dad's geology textbook that had an entire section on fossils and dinosaurs. That could explain my love of children's books about paleontology (the branch of science concerned with fossil animals and plants). So here are two more books about the lives of animals whose bones we find in stones...
theme: dinosaurs, fossils, whales
by Sara Hurst; illus. by Lucy Cripps
36 pages; ages 4-8
Kane Miller, 2018
Dinosaurs were alive long before there were people.
This book provides a novel way to explore the world of dinosaurs, because part of the illustration is revealed only when you shine a flashlight behind the page.
What I like about this book: that it begins before dinosaurs, with early life that includes jellyfish and bristle worms. As you turn pages, you walk through time visiting different environments, from swamp to jungle.
I like that long, multi-syllabic names are included, because what kid doesn't want to learn how to pronounce parasaurolophus! Back matter adds some quick facts about some of the dinosaurs.
by Erin Rounds; illus. by Alison Carver
36 pages; ages 5-9
Tilbury House, 2018
Many thousands of years ago, when a sheet of ice more than a mile thick began to let go of the land... the Atlantic Ocean flooded great valleys...
Some of those glacier-scoured valleys were in Vermont. When they became part of the sea, Charlotte and her Beluga buddies swam into the bays. They hunted salmon and raised their young. But one day Charlotte got trapped in a marshy area and her pod could not rescue her.
What I like about this book: The wonderful way that Erin Rounds shows the process of decay and sedimentation that covered her. And how, thousands of years later, in 1849, railroad workers found Charlotte's bones. A naturalist wanted to know more, so he pieced the bones together. Then he wondered, how did a whale get to a farmer's field in Vermont?
I like the extensive back matter that helps to answer the naturalist's questions. There is more information about other ice age mammals whose remains have been discovered in Vermont as well: Musk oxen, woolly mammoths, saber-toothed tigers.
Beyond the Books:
Visit a dinosaur. If there isn't a museum near you, feel free to take a virtual dinosaur field trip at the American Museum of Natural History. And if you have a chance to visit AMNH, the dino exhibit is truly awesome! Here's a list of some dinosaur museums in the US.
Learn more about the amazing Charlotte. Here's a place to start. And here's a link to a 2014 article in the Burlington Free Press: How do you get a whale in Vermont?
What is your state's fossil? Here's a helpful website - with links to your state. Draw a picture of your fossil.
Make your own dinosaur fossil out of salt dough. Or shells, other animals.... Here's how.
STEM Friday, where you can discover other cool STEM books. And we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website . Review copies provided by the publishers.