The Dinosaur Expert by Margaret McNamara | SLJ Review

K-Gr 3 –Kimmy is a child with a keen interest in science and history who collects fossils in her spare time.

redstarMCNAMARA, Margaret. The Dinosaur Expert. illus. by G. Brian Karas. 40p. Random. Jul. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553511437.

K-Gr 3 –Kimmy is a child with a keen interest in science and history who collects fossils in her spare time. When her class visits a natural history museum, Kimmy is thrilled to find her personal interests and public life merging on a topic so dear to her heart. Throughout the museum tour her head buzzes with information she can hardly wait to share about dinosaurs, and she speaks with knowledge at several exhibits. But then a careless word from a classmate, who thinks that girls are not scientists, leaves Kimmy quiet and stops the tidal wave of information she was so ready to share with her peers. As the class continues the tour, Kimmy sees many photographs of male paleontologists and proceeds to lose her nerve to communicate the information she is excited about. Soon an encouraging word from an observant teacher saves the day, and reignites her enthusiasm. He points Kimmy in the direction of a placard with photos and information about an award-winning female paleontologist. Kimmy’s confidence is restored, and she is validated when her classmates see that scientists can be girls. This story is illustrated with great care and attention to detail from page one, and the text and artwork work together in harmony to bring home powerful messages about gender equality, evolving to improve, and being careful with the feelings of others. VERDICT Attention-grabbing from its dinosaur-bone-covered endpapers to its closing spread of additional information on female paleontologists, this is a welcome addition to picture book collections. Best suited for one-on-one and small group sharing.–Lauren Younger, Nicholson Memorial Library, Garland, TX

This review was published in the School Library Journal July 2018 issue.

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