Review: The Dinosaur Expert by Margaret McNamara

The Dinosaur Expert by Margaret McNamara

The Dinosaur Expert by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (9780553511437)

In this new book in the Mr. Tiffin’s Classroom series, the class visits the natural history museum. Kimmy loves fossils and has been to the museum many times before. She can’t wait to share everything she knows about dinosaurs with the others. But when she starts to tell the others about dinosaurs, Jake tells her that girls can’t be scientists. As the children walk through the exhibits, Kimmy sees only men’s names on the displays. Kimmy stops talking about what she knows, even when Mr. Tiffin tries to get her to share. When they enter a new special exhibit, Mr. Tiffin points out that a female paleontologist was the one who discovered it. Inspired, Kimmy starts to talk about what she knows.

A book about the power of modeling to inspire young people, particularly girls to get involved with science, this picture book forgoes subtlety and takes the issue straight on. The strength of other children’s opinions is shown very clearly but so is the ability to suddenly shrug that off and be who you are without hesitation when you are inspired by another female scientist. Don’t miss Kimmy’s list of her favorite female paleontologists and their discoveries. Karas’s illustrations are done in his signature style. He shows Kimmy’s emotions very clearly as she moves from questioning herself into owning her knowledge.

A great book to share and inspire science exploration. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy provided by Random House.

2018 National Book Award Longlist

The longlist for the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature has been announced. The list will be reduced to five top finalists on October 10 and the winner will be announced on November 14. Here are the books on the list:

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge Blood Water Paint

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam Hey, Kiddo

Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

The Journey of Little Charlie The Poet X

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle A Very Large Expanse of Sea

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

We'll Fly Away What the Night Sings

We’ll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss

What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper