The resident expert of PBS Kids’ Dinosaur Train explains what fossil hunters do and study.
Sampson’s animated descriptions of where fossils are found, how paleontologists dig them up and transport them to museums for reconstruction and research, and what can be learned about dino diets and prehistoric habitats from teeth or other features offer a simplified but enticing view of the work and some of its rewards. Though the author leaves out any direct mention of the academic training that professional paleontologists must undergo, he mentions several techniques and activities that won’t be beyond even younger amateurs—and also touts the general value of getting outdoors and “playing in nature.” Children with a modicum of familiarity with the subject will find the exclamation mark–strewn text patronizing, and they will yawn at the hyped revelation at the end that turns out to be the less-than-fresh news that birds are dino descendants. The enthusiastic text is accompanied by photos of scientists (all apparently white, nearly all male) at work in field and lab, with occasional portraits of fleshed-out dinosaurs in prehistoric settings to crank up the drama.
A limited but lively once-over for young dinophiles.(glossary) (Informational picture book. 7-9)