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HOW THE DINOSAUR GOT TO THE MUSEUM by Jessie Hartland Kirkus Star


by Jessie Hartland & illustrated by Jessie Hartland

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-60905-090-0
Publisher: Blue Apple

This cumulative narrative follows the journey of a set of dinosaur bones belonging to a Diplodocus longus that lived 145 million years ago to its present home in the display halls of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

A companion to How the Sphinx Got to the Museum (2010), it similarly describes the work of many hands involved, here starting with the dinosaur hunter who discovered the bones and the paleontologist who went to Utah to identify them and culminating with the museum director who opened the exhibit. What’s special is the reminder of the wide range of tasks involved. The excavators, movers, preparators, curator, night watchman, welders, riggers, exhibits team and cleaner all have their parts. Hartland emphasizes this with her House-That-Jack-Built text, in which each job title has a special capital-letter font, color and background ("CLEANERS" is shown on a scrubbing-brush background, for instance). Her verbs are interestingly varied, as are the many things these people do. The text is printed on double-page illustrations, painted in a childlike manner but detailed enough to show all the people and activities. Backmatter includes a bit of dinosaur information and more about the actual discovery and the display at the museum, including some suggested websites.

An excellent complement to any dinosaur-book collection, this enriches and extends that interest. (Informational picture book. 6-10)