Kids can do some fair out stuff. Like find fossils of dinosaurs. Well, at least Wendy Sloboda did (the Wendiceratops), and we see how in The Fossil Whisper: How Wendy Sloboda Discovered a Dinosaur.
As you will learn later in the book, she does more than that. Finding some of the most information fossils and information the field has ever seen, she did most of it in her own backyard (or the Canadian Badlands, or not too far from where she grew up). And Helaine Becker “documents” that journey in this based on a true story fictionalized picture book. We see how a young curious girl who had a knack for finding things people missed, we learn about if you put your mind to it, you can complete any task.
And we see Wendy as she grows up, learning how she has a couple different fossils/dinosaurs named after her, where she has traveled and how it was not an easy journey. We see all of this (and more) illustrated by Sandra Dumais. The illustrations are a combination of realism and cartoon images. They are colorful, but not overly overwhelming (though Wendy’s’ adult hair seems to mimic her uniquely strong personality.
The fun part of this book is the fact that Wendy did most of her research and discoveries “now” and not during the early years of finding “curiosities” or even 60-70 years ago. She was a child/teen in the 1980s and has been busy ever since. And as recently as 2010 she has been making news, not to mention causing a stir with her tattoo of the dinosaur named after her and its scientific name on her arm.
In many ways, this is an all ages book, but would work best for ages 5 and up. Great for a one-on-one time or for the classroom. By dealing with science, dinosaurs and women’s history this could fit into many lessons.