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Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning, the First Paleontologist is an inspirational children picture book about the interesting life of Mary Anning who was alive from 1799-1847 in Lyme Regis, England. This book was just recently published by Sourcebooks Explore in July 2020! It was recommended to me by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Dr. Caitlin Colleary.
Mary was a fossil hunter who is credited with the discovery of several dinosaurs including Ichthyosaur and Pterodactyl. At the time of her discoveries, Charles Darwin had not yet brought forth the theory of evolution. In fact, the word ‘dinosaur’ did not even exist yet.
Mary is now credited with assisting in the development of paleontology and some believe that her work and discoveries may have influenced Charles Darwin. Her discoveries aided male British scientists in their careers because of the specimens that she provided to them.
Mary lived during a time when women were not expected to be educated, much less a scientist. She also was not credited for her work in the scientists papers that she sold her discoveries to. However, she persevered, taught herself, and learned what to search for when scavenging the beaches and cliffs looking for seashells, rocks, and fossils.
About the Author / Illustrator:
The author, Linda Skeers, is a nurse that has always LOVED reading. Linda is the author of the book, Women who Dared – 52 Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels where she introduced Mary Anning. Her publisher asked if she would write a picture book about Mary Anning, so she said, she jumped at the opportunity.
The illustrator, Marta Alvarez Miguens, has actually illustrated several other books that we have in our collection at home. While she received a degree in psychology, her passion was always drawing and doodling. She followed her passions and has since received several awards for other books she has illustrated like the National Teacher’s Association rated Best STEM book of the year in 2018, Shark Lady.
What we LOVED about this book:
- This book is extremely intriguing to young readers and adults alike. I felt that it was extremely inspirational, especially for young girls. Children see themselves in Mary and realize that they can do anything regardless of obstacles or injustices that may be in their way with strong perseverance and curiosity!
- The historical elements of this book are incredibly fascinating. I had not heard of Mary Anning prior to reading this book. The end of the book includes a timeline of Mary’s life and discoveries, which was helpful and fun to read.
- The scientific words used in the book are easy to understand but also allows for opportunities for additional research.
- The illustrations in this book make it easy for young children to understand what is happening on each page.
My children loved this book and it gave them a good understanding of what a paleontologist does! If you have a young paleontologist at home or even a young scientist who has never studied paleontology before, they will be so excited to read it too! To purchase, you can use this link!