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DINOMUMMY; The life, Death and Discovery of Dakota A Dinosaur from Hell Creek

Author: Dr. Phillip Lars Manning

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Publisher: Kingfisher, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin, ½2007

Material: hard cover

Summary: Dakota is a hadrosaur. Thousands of years ago, dinosaurs inhabited the land in what is today the Hell Creek badlands in South Dakota. We have a rare opportunity to join Dakota as he wanders the badlands, observing lots of dinosaurs along the way. Tyler, hiking through Hell Creek spotted Dakota's mummified remains. This is a text-heavy picture book about dinosaurs and archeology.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 11 and up

Interest Level: 6 and up

Reading Level: 7

Age of Child: Read to 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter enjoyed the illustrations and would ask questions about the various dinosaurs. Some she recognized, some she didn't. As the book wore on, though, she was less interested.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is an absolutely fascinating book. Although descriptive and well written, the first chapter (about the dinosaurs) was less interesting than the details about how Tyler found Dakota and the effort to unearth him.

Pros: Kids who love dinosaurs will enjoy this illustrated, non-fiction history of dinosaurs in the United States.

Cons: This is not your average dinosaur book. The reading level is higher (grade 7) and the material is intended for an older audience.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. If you have an upper elementary-aged child who loves dinosaurs and needs some more sophisticated reading, this is a must have.


Educational Themes: This is one of those rare dinosaur books that goes beyond the norm. You'll find fact sheets about dinosaurs in South Dakota in the back, as well as a glossary. The detailed descriptions of Tyler's discovery present science in a more realistic way (not the 60-minute docu-digest kids see on TV).

Notes: Flesch-Kincaid reading level 7.0

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - history, science, nature

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2008

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