March 14, 2016

Know your dinosaur

Dinosaur Discovery: Everything You Need to Be a Paleontologist
by Chris McGowan
illustrated by Erica Lyn Schmidt

The title of this book is misleading. It doesn't tell kids how to be a paleontologist; there's no mention of what skills are needed, what courses to take in school, or what it's like to work in the field. Instead, there are pages featuring thirteen different dinosaurs, with brief facts about their bones, teeth, and skin. In between these pages are a number of activities aimed to teach kids more about what it's like to be a dinosaur - how dinosaurs balance, walk, swim, hear, see, and fly. Other activities show how to make fake rocks, fake fossil feathers, and fake dinosaur skin. How the activities relate to the information presented is not always clear, but they are scientifically interesting.

In summary, the book is good for teaching kids about dinosaur anatomy, but not so good for showing them what an actual paleontologist does.

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