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KLIATTAGERANGE: Ages 12 to adult.
Paleontologist Kirk Johnson and artist Ray Troll traveled 5,000 miles around the American West searching for fossils and studying the rocks that contain them. As they report on their trip we are treated to a history of the Earth and early creatures such as ammonites, trilobites, dinosaurs, early mammals and plants such as giant broccoli. We also meet hundreds of folks, from rock hounds to bartenders. The book is lavishly illustrated with photos and Troll’s colorful pictures, which create a comic book quality that will appeal to YA readers. Johnson, the chief curator of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, writes in a casual style that is both educational and entertaining. He is the author of three other popular books, including Gas Trees and Car Turds: A Kids’ Guide to the Roots of Global Warming. Johnson makes the reader want to pull off the road at the nearest road cut and poke around. Students will be inspired to start hunting fossils of Archaeotherium, the Pig from Hell. Ray Troll has illustrated half a dozen popular books. His science-infused art has appeared on more than a million T-shirts. Reviewer: Janet Julian
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)