FROZEN SNAKES AND DINOSAUR BONES: Exploring a Natural History Museum by Margery Facklam

FROZEN SNAKES AND DINOSAUR BONES: Exploring a Natural History Museum

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Facklam will lose many young naturalists on the first page with her arguments for studying natural history: observing birds led to the first airplane and knowing rocks helps in drilling for oil or finding uranium. Those who continue reading are likely to be put off by the condescending tone with Which she makes believe that ""you"" are starting a museum. First, the organization of the collection makes it different from the old time ""curiosity cabinet""--but later, ""a natural history museum without a dinosaur is like peanut butter without jelly."" Her examples of what the different specialists and departments do are of the same order--e.g., a taxidermist rebuilt P. T. Barnum's beloved Jumbo after the elephant's accidental death. The descriptions of how museum scientists do a skin study, put together a plastic stegosaurus, and once discovered mastodon bones on a celery farm have some inherent interest, but basically this is on the level of a curiosity cabinet. . . for the nursery.

Pub Date: April 2nd, 1976
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich