Books by Catherine Thimmesh

A BABY LIKE YOU by Catherine Thimmesh
Released: Nov. 5, 2019

"Interesting animal facts and beautiful photographs, but despite the title, best suited to preschoolers (who will love it). (Picture book. 3-5)"
Animal babies are compared with human babies through selected facts and full-page photos. Read full book review >
Released: April 10, 2018

"A timely, uplifting story. (photos, source notes) (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
Deforestation, poaching, pollution, human overpopulation, and climate change have severely damaged the habitats and population of giant pandas in their native China, but government-supported conservation efforts are helping bring back a species that is considered a national treasure. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

"Required reading for serious dinophiles. (biographical appendix, source list, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 11-13)"
Thimmesh (Lucy Long Ago, 2009) again explores the border between science and speculation in this thoughtful look at how paleontologists and, in particular, "paleoartists" reconstruct prehistoric creatures from fossil evidence. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2009

The 1974 discovery of the fossilized partial skeleton of a small-brained primate who apparently walked upright 3.2 million years ago in what is now Ethiopia significantly changed accepted theories about human origins. Step by step, Thimmesh presents the questions the newly discovered bones raised and how they were answered. Using interviews and quotations from the specialists involved, she explains the work of biological and paleoanthropologists, geochronologists, and paleo-artists and shows how the hominid find now known as Lucy (or Dinkenesh, "beautiful one") helped turn the human family tree into something more like a bush. Sidebars clarify important concepts: hominids, evolution, fossilization, the scientific method (and its use of the word "theory") and the process of making plaster casts. Illustrations include photographs from the discovery, a map and helpful diagrams and pictures of comparative skeletal parts and of a life-sized model. Extensive research, clear organization and writing, appropriate pacing for new ideas and intriguing graphics all contribute to this exceptionally accessible introduction to the mystery of human origins, timed to accompany Lucy's six-year tour of U.S. museums. (glossary, sources, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
Released: June 26, 2006

"For me, that was the time in history and the event to participate in above all others." That comment, from one of the 400,000 involved in the team effort to put men on the moon in 1969, sums up the essence of this dramatic account of the work of people behind the scenes in the Apollo program. Illustrated with striking black-and-white photos, the white text on a black background of each page underscores the risk of this venture into the unknown. Beginning with Nixon's just-in-case prepared announcement of the astronaut's "sacrifice," the author presents the expedition as a series of challenges, including surprising details. Not all the challenges were directly related to the voyage: a windstorm in Australia threatened television transmission; photographs had to be perfect and the film disinfected (of nonexistent bacteria) before it was developed. The authors emphasizes the paper-and-pencil calculations, the endless testing and checking, and elaborate recordkeeping that supported this work, and the sense of personal responsibility each participant felt. This beautiful and well-documented tribute will introduce a new generation to that triumphant time. (author's note, resources, bibliography, glossary) (Nonfiction. 10+)Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 30, 2004

With uncommon brio, Thimmesh traces the course of women in the modern international political arena, profiling with even-handed admiration pivotal figures, from Susan B. Anthony to Condoleezza Rice and Benazir Bhutto, who have left, or are leaving, "a lasting footprint—whether it be pointy-toed and spike-heeled or rubber-soled and loosely laced—on the very bedrock of America" and the world. Jones debuts with a gallery of freely drawn, but recognizable portraits, alternating with a running subplot involving a circle of adults and children in exaggerated, theatrical poses unsuccessfully trying to persuade a child to give up her stubborn determination to become president of the US. Capped with a timeline, and a stunning mosaic of the White House made from thousands of microscopically tiny photos of girls and women, this natural follow-up to Lynne Cheney's more populous but US-focused A Is For Abigail (2003) offers a spectacular mix of entertainment, information, and inspiration. (source list, index) (Nonfiction. 9-11)Read full book review >
Released: March 25, 2002

Repeating the inspired formula of Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women (2000), Sweet's exuberant collages add both information and visual energy to lively profiles of more than a dozen female adults or children who have Found Something Significant. Along with such usual suspects as Mary Anning (dinosaur fossils) and Jane Goodall (tool-using chimpanzees), Thimmesh includes less-familiar figures, conducting personal interviews with each of her living subjects. Among them are astronomer Vera Rubin, whose "dark matter" theory is revolutionizing our ideas about the universe; archaeologist Denise Schmandt-Besserat, who identified a surprising precursor to writing in ancient Middle Eastern sites, and Anna Sofaer, who identified among Chaco Canyon petroglyphs a complex Anasazi calendar. Not everyone here is a trained scientist, or for that matter, even out of junior high. The last section is given over to six students with inventive science projects, from a low-tech method of turning puddles into safe drinking water, to proof that vegetables grown in city lots can contain dangerous levels of lead. Though, oddly, only the living are listed in the table of contents, and an account of June Moxon's trip across the US in a foot-powered kinetic sculpture doesn't really fit the premise, Thimmesh makes a convincing case for the idea that the thrill of discovery is a feeling anyone can have. She closes with an array of resources to help young readers get off the stick. (timeline, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)Read full book review >