The Dinosaur Expert is a nice girl power book dealing with a subject that girls are not usually associated with when it comes to the sciences: Dinosaurs. The only real issue I have with Margaret McNamara’s picture book is the cliché it is a boy that tells our heroine, Kimmy, “girls can’t be scientists.” I think just once, I want the surprise of another girl saying this. Just to mix things up.
Part of the Mr. Tiffin’s Classroom series, this book deals with the science of paleontology. There is mention of modern scientists working in the field within the story, with an afterwards with a history of women paleontologists also included. However, while they include Mary Anning there, I would have liked to have seen her more prominent in the story itself. Which is a story we have seen. There is Kimmy, excited to share her knowledge of dinosaurs on their school trip. There is Jake-Girls-Aren’t-Scientists”) and Kimmy again, now shy and embraced of her knowhow. Of course, Mr. Tiffin, their teacher, comes to the rescue to show that yes women can be paleontologists! While this book probably will not become a classic, it is a nice “now” book. It is packed full of facts and is a clever friendship story, too.
Brian Karas’s signature style of illustrations tie it all together. The round, friendly faces of the children, the goofy, grinning dinosaurs ae all there for the eyes to explore. See the information as you read about it as well. You might even learn a thing or two about dinosaurs, scientists and just like Kimmy, about yourself.