Friday, February 8, 2019

The Dinosaur Expert

The Dinosaur Expert
by Margaret McNamara; illus. by G. Brian Karas
40 pages; ages 4-8
Schwartz & Wade, 2018

theme: dinosaurs, women in science

Kimmy collected things so she could study them. She collected rocks
and shells
and leaves and pebbles and feathers.

I love books that inspire kids to follow their passions - even when their passion seems so out of the ordinary. And I especially love books that encourage girls to explore science.

This book opens with an illustration of Kimmy examining an ammonite from her fossil collection. Yes, she collects them, too. So on the day that Kimmy's class is visiting the natural history museum, she is very excited. She knows a lot about dinosaurs and can't wait to share. But when she mentions that she wants to be a scientist, one of the kids says, "Girls aren't scientists." And Kimmy stops talking.

What I like love about this book: I love the illustrations of the various dinosaurs. And I love the expressiveness of Kimmy's face - readers will understand how she feels about the possibility that there is no place for her in paleontology. What I really love, though, is that the teacher nudges her towards an exhibit of Gasparinisaura, a dinosaur discovered by a woman.

And there is Back Matter (and you know how much I love that!). Titled "My Favorite Paleontologists by Kimmy", we discover seven women who dug and sorted and identified dino bones. Six of them are alive and working in their field right now.

Beyond the book:

Learn about different kinds of dinosaurs. Here's one website to get you started.

Visit a museum where they have dinosaur bones or skeletons. Take along your sketch pad and draw one of the dinosaurs. Then think about what this beast would have looked like with skin and muscles. Here are some photos to get you started

Learn more about women in paleontology here.

Drop by next week for more paleontology.

Today we're joining other book bloggers over at 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 copy unearthed at the library.


  1. Love the themes here! I'll check this one out.

  2. Wow! This sounds fabulous! I love everything you've noted about this book. And paleontology is an unusual STEM topic when it comes to careers, but a sure winner for kids since they love dinosaurs.

  3. I love this book as well, for all the reasons you mentioned.

  4. What an important book for girls who want to be scientists, let alone a paleontologist. I would have loved this book as a kid. I was a rock collector.

    1. Cool! We should connect one day and talk rocks... I've got a good story about pseudomorphic limonite.

  5. What a great teacher! I can't wait to look at this book a little closer. Thanks, Sue.