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Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning, the First Paleontologist

Sourcebooks Explore. Jul. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781728209517.
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PreS-Gr 3–Even as a young girl, Mary Anning (1799–1847) displayed a curiosity for excavating fossils and ancient bones. Anning explored the cliffs near her birthplace of Lyme Regis, England, and accompanied her father, a tradesman by day, on his fossil-hunting excursions. After discovering the head of an ancient creature, Anning became enthralled with searching for bones of other prehistoric animals. She committed her life’s work to the pursuit of exhuming and writing about extinct species. Skeers’s simple, straightforward prose details the paleontologist’s personal history and career accomplishments, including her findings (she helped discover the first Ichthyosaurus and the first complete Plesiosaurus) and her difficulties with male contemporaries. Miguéns’s colorful and charming illustrations enhance the informative and readable narrative. Readers will greatly appreciate the explanation of paleontological terms, a time line of Anning’s life, and the author’s note that fills in the gaps not covered in the book.
VERDICT This enjoyable introduction to a pioneering paleontologist should intrigue and inspire young readers. An excellent purchase for school and public libraries.

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