A Little Bit of Dinosaur

by Elleen Hutcheson (Author) John Joven (Illustrator)

A Little Bit of Dinosaur
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Did you know that you have a little bit of dinosaur in you? And it's your mother's fault. She fed you that cheese sandwich, which had a calcium atom that used to be in the bones of a T. rex. This humorous story follows a calcium atom as it journeys from dry bones to your jawbone - and beyond!

This story is inspired by the classic environmental book, A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopoldo, which beautifully discusses how man and nature are interconnected. This amazing circle of life--or the conservation of mass--is illustrated in this story with humor and a touch of empathy. Sisters Elleen Hutcheson and Darcy Pattison team up to bring Leopoldo's circle of life to kids. Each is shaking her finger at their mother wondering why she fed them that cheese sandwich.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
...entertaining tale... A science-centric winner, especially for young dinosaur lovers.

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5--This title provides an overview of the fossilization and breakdown of dinosaur bones and how calcium from a dinosaur can appear in modern items and present-day human anatomy, such as a child's jawbone. The text begins with prehistoric times, and then ultimately follows a mother who visits the grocery store and buys cheese that contains calcium that used to be in a dinosaur. This picture book uses an engaging scientific concept to present a goofy yet understandable narrative for younger readers. Each spread features bright, comical cartoon artwork and clear lettering in either black or white. While the information is told as factual, the illustrations take on a fantastical element, such as a child with actual dinosaur parts and a cow riding farm equipment. The text ends rather abruptly, leaving readers with questions about where calcium from their bodies will end up in the long run. The child and mother are drawn with light skin tones. VERDICT A fun purchase for inquisitive elementary students and for nonfiction collections where dinosaurs and science, in general, are popular.--Molly Dettmann, Norman North H.S., OK

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Mims House
Publication date
February 20, 2021
BISAC categories
JNF003050 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Animals | Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures
JNF037050 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Fossils
JNF051030 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Anatomy & Physiology
Library of Congress categories
Life cycles (Biology)
Calcium in the body

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