Creature Crossingby Betty Levin
Ben, Kate, and Foster, the trio of friends from Starshine and Sunglow return in this satisfying sequel in which Ben finds a tiny creature in a ditch and is convinced he's stumbled upon something really big -- really big. It looks exactly like a baby dinosaur, but how can Ben be sure without letting the potentially explosive secret out? With help from Kate and
Ben, Kate, and Foster, the trio of friends from Starshine and Sunglow return in this satisfying sequel in which Ben finds a tiny creature in a ditch and is convinced he's stumbled upon something really big -- really big. It looks exactly like a baby dinosaur, but how can Ben be sure without letting the potentially explosive secret out? With help from Kate and Foster the answers begin to come together. But soon there's a new problem, and an even bigger challenge that will unite -- and galvanize -- the youngsters and their entire community.
The Horn Book Magazine
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 3 MB
- Age Range:
- 8 - 12 Years
Read an Excerpt
It was only by accident that Ben noticed the lizard, or whatever it was. Catching it made him feel like a hunter exposed to unknown risks. It might bite. It could even be poisonous.
First he had to make sure it was alive. Leaning over the ditch, he poked a stick through the pebbles and rattled them all around. Then, gently prodding, he nudged dead, sodden leaves that nearly buried the creature. It didn't stir. It looked a bit like a stick itself, a branch with twigs growing out. Those were its legs and feet.
He almost left it there. Since it wasn't moving, he figured he had plenty of time to get Kate and Foster to come for a look. Only then he would have share it with the, He didn't usually mind sharing like that. But lately he had had to share too much with his little sister, Daisy. Now that she could run all over the place, including his room, she was into everything.
So Ben decided it would be ool to have something all his own. It crossed his mind that even if the thing wasn't alive, it might still be special. What if it was a fossil out of a dinosaur egg ad millions of years old? He almost hoped it would turn out to be hard as rock. He would let his parents keep it on the matlepiece for a while to show off to their friends. A reporter might come from the local newspaper to take a picture of it, and everyone in school would know who had found this amazing specimen, previously unknown to science. The newspaper headline would read: Young Explorer Discovers Fossil Dinosaur Hatchling.
Ben had to lie on his stomach to reach whatever it was. Although a few roadside weeds were turning green, theground was hard and cold, as if still in the grip of winter. Snow had trickled down and then frozen overnight. Ben's hands were so icy when he finally scooped up the motionless creature that he could hardly feel it. Still, he made a bowl of his hands to cover it. Then raised two fingers to peek inside just to make sure it was really there.
Meet the Author
Betty Levin is the author of many popular books for young people, including The Banished; Look Back, Moss; Away to Me, Moss; Island Bound; Fire in the Wind; and The Trouble with Gramary. Betty Levin has a sheep farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts, where she also raises and trains sheepdogs. In Her Own Words...
"I started writing stories almost as soon as I began to read. They were derivative and predictable-as much a way of revisiting characters and places in books I loved as it was a means of self-expression. I don't remember when words and their use became important. In the beginning was the story, and for a long time it was all that mattered.
"Even though I always wrote, I imagined becoming an explorer or an animal trainer. This was long before I had to be gainfully employed. It wasn't until after I'd landed in the workplace, first in museum research and then in teaching, that I returned to story writing-this time for my young children. Then a fellowship in creative writing at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College gave me and my storymaking a chance. One affirmation led to another, and now there are books-and some readers.
"When I talk with children in schools and libraries, I realize that child readers are still out there. When they get excited about a character or a scene, a new dimension opens for them, a new way of seeing and feeling and understanding.
"Of course there is always one child who asks how it feels to be famous and to be recognized in supermarkets. I explain that the only people who recognize me are those who have seen me working my sheep dogs or selling my wool at sheep fairs. That response often prompts another query: Why write books if they don't make you rich and famous? I usually toss that question back at the children. Why do they invent stories? How does story writing make them feel?
"Eventually we explore the distinction between wanting to be a writer and needing to write. If we want to write, then we must and will. Whether or not we become published authors, we all have tales to tell and stories to share. Literature can only continue to grow from the roots of our collective experience if children understand that they are born creative and that all humans are myth users and storytellers."
Jos. A. Smith, illustrator of Hurry! by Jessie Haas, Ogres! Ogres! Ogres!: A Feasting Frenzy from A to Z by Nicholas Heller, and A Creepy Countdown by Charlotte Huck, lives in New York City.
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