Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon

Overview

Over two hundred years ago, a young girl discovers a fossil, and begins a lifelong vocation that earns her a place in history.

"The patience and dogged determination of the unconventional Mary shines through, making her story one not only for dinosaur-lovers, but for those appreciate stories of strong girls as well." -- Publishers
Weekly.

An account of the finding of the first entire skeleton of an ichthyosaur, an extinct sea ...

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Overview

Over two hundred years ago, a young girl discovers a fossil, and begins a lifelong vocation that earns her a place in history.

"The patience and dogged determination of the unconventional Mary shines through, making her story one not only for dinosaur-lovers, but for those appreciate stories of strong girls as well." -- Publishers
Weekly.

An account of the finding of the first entire skeleton of an ichthyosaur, an extinct sea reptile, by a twelve-year-old English girl who went on to become a paleontologist.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While Don Brown's Rare Treasure (reviewed above) took a larger view of Mary Anning's life and work, Atkins zooms in on the girl's first major discovery (at age 12), igniting the scientist's lifelong vocation. Though the narrative begins after the death of Mary's father, his words are still very much alive in her: "Don't ever stop looking, Mary." She knows there is something hidden in the cliffs of Lyme Regis, something more than just the shells and stone sea lilies that the tourists buy from her family's "Gifts and Curiosities" shop. And Mary isn't about to let the townspeople's gossip and criticism of her hammer, chisel and sturdy top hat (worn for protection from falling rocks) stop her. When she unearths a tooth embedded in a stone, Mary spends months tapping and brushing, chiseling and digging, unearthing a face almost four feet long. Atkins (A Name on the Quilt) presents a sensitive if romanticized portrait of the real-life discoverer of the first complete ichthyosaur fossil. Dooling's (George Washington) illustrations help establish the early-19th-century setting, particularly his atmospheric oil paintings of fog-enshrouded seascapes, but the portraits of Mary don't convey much emotional range. Still, the patience and dogged determination of the unconventional Mary shines through, making her story one not only for dinosaur-lovers, but for those who appreciate stories of strong girls as well. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Susan Hepler
One of several excellent stories (others are by Catherine Brighton and Laurence Anholt) about the young discoverer of the first entire ichthyosaur in the early 1800's, this book is distinguished by its vivid text and dramatic illustrations. In her dead father's sturdy top hat to protect her from falling rocks, eleven-year-old Mary Anning roamed the seashore and crumbling cliffs of Lyme Regis looking for shells and fossils to sell in her family's curiosity shop. She chipped and brushed away at fossils and persisted in removing the stone that would later make its way to London. An author's not explains that Mary lived to see the coining of the word "dinosaur" in 1841, never married, and furthered the study of paleontology. Dooling's oil paintings capture the sweep of the foggy gray-tinted seashore and the individuality of the young scientist whose patience, persistence, and curiosity are an inspiration to scientists of any age.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781480056879
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 11/6/2012
  • Pages: 34
  • Sales rank: 498,413
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeannine Atkins, a former high school English teacher, is the author of three other picture books, including A Name on the Quilt, illustrated by Tad Hills. Intrigued by the mix of legends and facts surrounding Mary Anning, the author visited Lyme Regis, and there conceived her interpretation of the events leading to Mary Anning's lifelong search for fossils. Jeannine Atkins lives with her family in Whately, Massachesetts.

Michael Dooling has illustrated numerous books for children. Among them are George Washington: A Picture Book Biography by James Cross Giblin and O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories. He lives in Audubon, New Jersey, with his wife, Jane, and her daughters, Rachel and Lisa.

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