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“Like his famous namesake, Barnum could be a real showman. Very often, he was found working merrily in a dusty dinosaur ‘quarry,’ carefully removing layers of clay and sandstone around a fossil while wearing a stylish hat, tie, and fur coat!” – Barnum Brown Dinosaur Hunter
Barnum Brown Dinosaur Hunter
by David Sheldon
AR Test, Picture Book
4 – 8
Barnum Brown had one ambition as a child: to grow up to be a great dinosaur hunter. And that’s just what he did when he was hired by the American Museum of Natural History—working to build their astounding collection.
Barnum had a knack for finding dinosaur bones, a skill that rivaled the paleontologists before him. His most amazing discovery was uncovering one of the largest carnivores that ever walked the earth, the “tyrant lizard king,” Tyrannosaurus Rex!
Barnum’s biography begins when he was a child living in Kansas. As a boy, he was amazingly curious, and this curiosity served him well throughout his career. The picture book describes Barnum’s work, and younger readers will need help decoding the advanced vocabulary and dinosaur terms. The illustrations show the work behind finding the fossils as well as the actual dinosaurs. The dinosaurs are often shown next to their bones which allows readers to imagine the dinosaurs behind the fossils. Plus, the illustrations show both the beauty and ferocity of the beast.
Barnum’s life story is exciting and interesting. Despite this, younger readers will not want to tackle this picture book alone. While the pages have 2 to 5 sentences, the sentences are long and complex. However, Barnum Brown Dinosaur Hunter is an enlightening book that dinosaur-loving readers of all ages should put on their must-read list, especially because Barnum is responsible for discovering 11 new dinosaurs. Without Barnum’s eye for finding fossils, the science of paleontology may be missing important fossils. Readers who want to learn more about Barnum’s life should also read Finding the First T. Rex by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld.
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