I have one word for Charlotte’s Bones: The Beluga Whale in a Farmer’s Field by Erin Rounds (and illustrations by Allison Carver), “WOW”
But I guess I better expand by saying this is a great book for kids that are into science or a fun way to introduce natural science to all ages. It is told from the point of view of an all-knowing narrator that knows what is happening to the beluga whale, later to be known as Charlotte. She was caught 11,000 years ago in a tidal marsh, probably warning her pod to swim away. Slowly she dies and becomes preserved. And in the year of 1849, she was found. First thought to be a horse’s skeleton, a sharped eye man who was walking saw these were not ordinary bones and started to study them. Learning that they had found an ocean animal on a farmer’s land in Vermont. How did this happen? That part of the story is covered, too. The afterwards are filled with facts of the beluga whale, the ice age and so much more. Now Charlotte has found a second life as the Vermont state fossil (which I am embarrassed to say, I was unaware of).
The illustrations are also amazing. They are vivid and soft at the same time. Also, they are colorfully sharp and calm at the same time. The unique combination allows them to not be overwhelming yet, contain much detail.
I recommend this highly to all teachers, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors and the guy who checked you out at the grocery store today. This book should be taught in all schools and put in every dinosaur, ocean and animal display libraries and stores create. Buy at least two copies as you will want to keep one and give the others as a gift.
(My apologizes to Disney for stealing their song lyrics and for saying the author will be at my store in November, which I might be more excited for then Tomie dePaoloa in October!)