Monday, January 9, 2012

How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum by Jessie Hartland

How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum 
by Jessie Hartland
Blue Apple Books, 2011
ISBN: 9781609050900
Gr. K-3

The reviewer borrowed a copy of the book from her local library.

Do you have dinosaur fans in your library? I work with patrons between the ages of 5-11 who are frequent flyers in the 567.9 section. They check out piles of dinosaur books each week. These kids can pronounce names dinosaur names perfectly, and they remember facts and stats about each species.  But, have they ever wondered How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum?

Inquisitive students and dinosaur lovers will enjoy this companion to How the Sphinx Got to the Museum. The story begins at the Smithsonian.  A boy standing beside an exhibit of a Diplodocus longus asks the docent, "So, how did the dinosaur actually get to the museum?" So begins the journey back in time to the Jurassic period. Using kid-friendly colorful illustrations and a lyrical text, Hartland provides young readers with an overview of how dinosaur bones covered with sand and silt turned into fossils over time and eventually became a museum exhibit.

"The rain comes- dripping, drenching, pouring- and turns into a torrential flood, sweeping the big dinosaur off its feet, down the river to its death."

Each turn of the page reveals another person responsible for bringing the dinosaur to the museum including the excavator, preparator, and curator. Kids will love reading the job titles written on special nameplates throughout the text. For example, the word "paleontologist" is written on the shape of a bone. Each job adds another layer to the story, which told in the style of This is the House That Jack Built. 

The topic, illustrations, and format work well together to create a book with lots of kid appeal. Even though the book is aimed at young readers, Hartland does not shy away from using complex vocabulary and rich language. Many new vocabulary words are defined within the story. Backmatter includes additional fact about the Diplodocus longus, information about fossils and links to dino dig web sites.

If you're looking for the perfect nonfiction read aloud for the K-3 crowd, then look no further.  The text also lends itself to choral reading and readers' theater.


  1. kids are so interested in ancient Dino. previously a related blog passed my sight it is also have good information for kids its link : fossils for kids

  2. Beautiful! I've also been toying with the idea of a Dinosaur and Dragon theme for GatheringBooks - would most likely include this book if that idea pushes through. I also love the book cover - and wow, if the book begins at the Smithsonian, you can already tell that it's bound to be amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sounds very informative and entertaining, but I just can't get my son interested in the dinos...yet! Perfect title for my nephew, though. Also, thanks for the reminder to check out How the Sphinx Got to the Museum. We haven't read that one either.

  4. I'll have to add this one to my TBR list. Thanks for the review.