Art, Books, Learning, Reviews

Dinosaur Lady: Mary Anning

Today’s book is titled Dinosaur Lady (Mary Anning). My now 17 yo was fascinated by dinosaurs as a toddler. He spent hours with puzzles and dinosaur toys, and when he learned to read, quickly learned facts about all his favorite dinosaurs. Like many other dino-fans, he could name dinosaurs with ease. In spite of all that connection with dinosaurs, I did not know about Mary Anning until this book, so I am really glad that I now know about this amazingly inspiring woman – a true pioneer!!

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The Book Review

Dinosaur Lady

Book Info

Title: Dinosaur Lady
Author: Linda Skeers
Illustrator: Marta Alvarez Miguéns
Publishers: Sourcebook Kids
Pub Date: July 7, 2020
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs | Children’s Nonfiction | STEM
Age-Range: 4 – 8 years
Source: NetGalley eARC

Goodreads ||  Book Depository ||
Barnes and Noble || IndieBound


This is the story of a woman who dared to dig, explore, and discover. This is the story of Dinosaur Lady.

As a kid, Mary Anning loved hunting for fossils with her father. One day, that hobby led to an unexpected discovery: the skeleton of a creature no one had never seen before! Mary had unearthed a dinosaur fossil, the first to ever be discovered.

Her find reshaped scientific beliefs about the natural world and led to the beginning of a brand new field of study: paleontology. For the rest of her life, Mary continued to make astonishing finds and her fossils are displayed in museums all across the world! The daring discoveries of Mary Anning not only changed the scientific world, but also helped change people’s attitudes towards women scientists.

Dinosaur Lady is a beautiful and brilliant picture book that will enlighten children about the discovery of the dinosaurs and the importance of women scientists.

My Thoughts

This book is awesome! Dinosaurs and girl-power combined with brilliant and bright illustrations that transport you as well as story-telling that keeps you hooked till the very end make this a must-have!

What I loved about this (a lot, as you can see!):
  • the eye-catching and clever cover, where the title is written out with bones, ensured I picked this read. And once you open the book, Miguéns’ illustrations continue to charm you at every turn with their beauty, and surprise you with the details.
  • the fact that it tells the story of Mary Anning, aka the First Paleontologist, to the youngest readers (and older ones like me who did not know about her till this book)
  • how Linda Skeers effortlessly captures and highlights Anning’s perseverance and curiosity and her passion for learning; she also slips in scientific terms into the pages without making it seem like a text book or a non-fiction book (which in fact, it is!)
  • that this book is full of so many inspiring and teachable moments. I totally appreciated that Skeers does not downplay the barriers women faced in that day and age, and reading about how Anning continued in spite of all the adversities (financial and gender-related barriers) is truly empowering. It captures the frustrations and struggles of Anning’s life while keeping the focus on her lifelong journey of learning and achievements. It was truly wonderful to note that many distinguished male scientists of the time came to her for advice!
  • how both Skeers’ words and Miguéns’ illustrations highlight the thrill of discovery (like when Anning and her brother first discovered the eye of the dinosaur looking out at them on the beach!); as well the thrill and hard work of learning and overcoming obstacles.
  • the timeline and additional notes included at the end of the book that help the readers understand the story better, as well as provide more interesting reading and resources for curious(actually, all) readers.
  • that it is written in an easy to read and understand way for the target audience (who might need help with some of the scientific terms, but they might surprise you since those are all dinosaur related) but still appealing to readers of all ages (including adults).
And the other side:

Well, nothing really to add in a ‘what I did not like about this book’ section – nothing at all!

Additional Notes
  • Check out this really useful study guide provided by SourceBooks as an accompaniment to this book.
  • I recall seeing another book by Linda Skeers earlier, where she references Mary Anning, but somehow don’t think I read it. I am going to look for it now. You should take a look too – Women Who Dared
  • And yes, another find because of this book I am looking forward to read is Shark Lady by Jess Keating and illustrated by Miguens.

In Summary

What more can I say? It is simply a great read – an educational, inspiring, entertaining, empowering and exciting read! So go get it now!! I know I am getting a physical copy for myself ..and adding this to that list of truly giftable books for all occasions and all ages.

Get it Here

 Book Depository || Barnes and Noble || IndieBound

Disclaimer: Thanks to Netgalley and SourceBooks for the eARC of this book. All opinions are my own.

Would You Rather

Today’s WYR

Would you rather do a book report or a project for a school assignment?

Again, a tough question for me to answer. But most likely the book report for me (since the project might win out only depending on what it is, while the book report, well…..) Keeping in mind today’s featured book, if the project was to do some fossil hunting, maybe I might pick the project but then again, if I had to do a book report on Mary Anning’s biography, hmm.

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, any books that led you a surprising discovery recently? Or any books about inspiring people? Do let me know.

Linking this book to It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? at TeachMentorTexts

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17 thoughts on “Dinosaur Lady: Mary Anning

  1. What an interesting book! My GGrandson is like your son. He loves dinos and can name them off! He will be four in September so this sout like a great birthday book.

  2. Sounds like an interesting book! I have always been fascinated by dinosaurs and everything prehistoric! As for the Monday question: I just finished reading “The Secret Garden,” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and I am now reading “Cold Mountain,” by Charles Frazier. In these days when I cannot travel, books provide me with an opportunity to travel via my imagination.

  3. I will have to hunt this one down. My now 6 year old is still fascinated by dinosaurs. She talks about them all the time and will most certainly enjoy learning about Mary Anning. Thank you for sharing this new title, Vidya!

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