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JURASSIC POOP by Jacob Berkowitz


What Dinosaurs (and Others) Left Behind

by Jacob Berkowitz & illustrated by Steve Mack

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-55337-860-1
Publisher: Kids Can

Preserved excrement, whether dried, frozen or turned to rock, can provide all kinds of information to scientists. The “e-e-eew factor” is only part of the appeal of this lively introduction to coprolites—fossil feces. Photographs and cartoon illustrations accompany a breezy but fact-filled text explaining coprolite formation and identification, introducing some researchers and giving examples of their findings. From the dinosaur teaser in the title, cover illustration and opening chapter, the author goes on to include examples of all kinds of feces, from insects and fish to human. Readers are directly addressed and occasionally given a chance to try out their learning in quick quizzes. While the prose makes heavy use of puns (“Solve the Case of Who Dung It!”), the broad humor is appropriate to the subject and for the middle-grade reader. The acknowledgements in the introduction make clear the scientific basis for the information, and the book concludes with a glossary, quiz answers and an index. Compare with the more traditional approach of Dino Dung (2005), from the Step Into Reading series. (Nonfiction. 8-12)