Dinosaur Dig

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
What child hasn't dreamed of discovering a dinosaur fossil? Lasky and Knight, the Newbery Honor-winning creators of Sugaring Time, have collaborated on an engrossing photo-essay about the family vacation of a lifetime--a dinosaur dig. Lasky has twice before mined the subjects of paleontology/anthropology in The Bone Wars (a YA historical novel) and Traces of Life: The Originals of Humankind (a survey of hominid research) but neither of those earlier works can match this perfect marriage of text and photos for intensity and excitement. Lasky deftly weaves a myriad of scientific facts about the earth's geologic life and the Mesozoic Era into a fascinating trip's diary (with six other families) to the bone-rich buttes of the Montana Badlands. Kids will connect with the immediacy of the experience and be mesmerized by the text's vivid, almost poetic, descriptions of the hot, dry dig coupled with Knight's stunning color photos. Featuring the children as equal partners with the adults, the photos both enlarge and reinforce the information in the text. They dramatically convey the complete absorption of the dig participants as they labor in the 100+ degree heat under the dome of Montana's big sky. The excitement is palpable when the bones found are tentatively identified as those of a Triceratops by paleontologist Keith Rigby. This is an irresistible behind-the-scenes look at field paleontologists at work. Ages 8-up. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-6-- Lasky continues to explore the world of dinosaurs with her careful, poetic prose. Only now, the experiences she shares are her own, as she chronicles her family's summer expedition on a paleontological dig. Lasky's writing literally covers new ground on the dinosaur frontier as she takes readers along through the hot Montana sun to share the excitement of uncovering bones that have lain unseen for millions of years. While most dinosaur books for children concentrate on the dinosaurs, Lasky focuses on the techniques used to recover the bones, presenting the potentially confusing science of fossil recovery as both an intriguing and an understandable art. The exquisite full-color photos, like the text, stimulate all senses, capturing the dusty smells, the gritty sands, and the subtle colors of the harsh Montana Badlands. Too bad several glitches in writing style mar this otherwise well-written text. Lasky's personification of herself in the third person detracts from the immediate enthusiasm of her writing. Also, the subtle assumption that readers will share her urbanite surprise at encountering the ``wide open spaces'' may act as a distancing factor to readers of backgrounds dissimilar to hers. Otherwise, this is an adventurous trek not to be missed by armchair paleontologists. --Cathryn A. Camper, Minneapolis Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688085742
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/1990
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 980L (what's this?)

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