Barnum's Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World

Barnum's Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World

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by Tracey Fern, Boris Kulikov
     
 

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Barnum Brown's (1873-1963) parents named him after the circus icon P.T. Barnum, hoping that he would do something extraordinary--and he did! As a paleontologist for the American Museum of Natural History, he discovered the first documented skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, as well as most of the other dinosaurs on display there today.

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Overview

Barnum Brown's (1873-1963) parents named him after the circus icon P.T. Barnum, hoping that he would do something extraordinary--and he did! As a paleontologist for the American Museum of Natural History, he discovered the first documented skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, as well as most of the other dinosaurs on display there today.

An appealing and fun picture book biography, with zany and stunning illustrations by Boris Kulikov, BARNUM'S BONES captures the spirit of this remarkable man.

Barnum's Bones is one The Washington Post's Best Kids Books of 2012.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 4—Barnum Brown had a nose for fossils, trudging along behind his father as he plowed his Kansas fields, picking up ancient clams and corals. And that nose, according to Fern's chatty, readable text, led to a lifetime of work for the American Museum of Natural History in New York (originally under the guidance of Henry Fairfield Osborn). A brief glimpse at Brown's early years leads to his expeditions to Patagonia and the American West, and the discovery of his most exciting find—Tyrannosaurus rex. Kulikov's cartoon illustrations splash across the spreads, their golds, browns, oranges (and an occasional bright blue) forming a perfect backdrop for the text, and for a scattering of correspondence between Brown and Osborn tucked into the endpapers ("Please...send me 1/2 doz. short, heavy chisels…."). An extensive author's note provides further biographical detail about this productive paleontologist. This book is simpler than Deborah Kogan Ray's stellar Dinosaur Mountain: Digging into the Jurassic Age (Farrar, 2010), which has a similar format, and is on a par with David Sheldon's handsome Barnum Brown: Dinosaur Hunter (Walker, 2006). T. rex lovers will gobble it up, and seekers of easy biographies will be hot on their heels.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Presenting Barnum Brown, who, from the time he was named for circus impresario P.T., was destined to do unusual, important things. Obsessed from childhood with fossils--and blessed with an uncanny knack for finding them--Brown began hunting dinosaurs in the American West in the late 19th century. He was hired by New York's Museum of Natural History to find specimens, since that institution had no dinosaur collection at the time. Discover them Brown did, though he didn't unearth any new species--until, after several years of painstaking labor, he discovered the bones, including an intact skull, of the new creature he'd longed to find, later dubbed Tyrannosaurus rex. His "favorite child" took the world by storm, and the dapper Brown, in a career spanning more than six decades, went on to discover more dinosaur fossils than anyone. Fern fills her text with all the salient facts but uses a breezy, humorous, awestruck voice that strikes just the right tone in telling the story of this fascinating, quirky scientist. Kulikov's wittily energetic, earth-toned watercolors enliven the text and add to the fun and interest. Children who gawp at dinosaur exhibits will realize a new appreciation for those who devote their lives to finding and resurrecting extraordinary animals from eons past. And who doesn't love T. rex? (author's note, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 7-11)
The New York Times
Tracey Fern…turns a slice of a scientist's biography into an American adventure tale, describing how Brown and his rivals at other museums raced to find the best fossils and to discover new species…The illustrations, by Boris Kulikov…lend a delightfully comic, almost cartoonish, touch to material that might have been stimulating even as literal illustration-as-exposition. Instead…Kulikov amplifies the text with glorious depictions of a human being's wildest imaginings.
—Pamela Paul
The Washington Post
In this engaging picture-book biography, Tracey Fern and illustrator Boris Kulikov supply many distinctive details about Brown…Kulikov's inventive, playfully skewed illustrations capture Barnum's ardent curiosity and forceful presence…
—Abby McGanney Nolan

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374305161
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
05/22/2012
Pages:
36
Sales rank:
331,915
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
1010L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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