cover image Dragon Bones: The Fantastic Fossil Discoveries of Mary Anning

Dragon Bones: The Fantastic Fossil Discoveries of Mary Anning

Sarah Glenn Marsh, illus. by Maris Wicks. Roaring Brook, $19.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-250-14021-0

Glenn Marsh offers a conversational picture book biography of unsung English paleontologist Mary Anning (1799–1847), beginning with her childhood in a coastal English town whose stormy weather frequently “uncovered new, unusual things from deep within the rocky earth.” Though the white family sells the fossilized bones and shells to combat hunger amid food shortages, Anning is beguiled by the objects. And when her brother makes an interesting find, she keeps digging, eventually unearthing ichthyosaur and plesiosaur fossils—both subsequently bought and publicized by men who failed to credit the finder. Employing shifting angles, Wicks’s stylized pencil and digital art juxtaposes the subject’s modest seaside existence with her determination and metaphysical images of the fossils that compel her: “strange, nameless creatures curled in the cliffs.” Back matter includes a contextualizing short biography of the “mother of paleontology,” more information about her finds, and information about becoming a paleontologist. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)