The Iguanodon's Horn: How Artists and Scientists Put a Dinosaur Back Together Again and Again and Again

by Sean Rubin (Author) Sean Rubin (Illustrator)

The Iguanodon's Horn: How Artists and Scientists Put a Dinosaur Back Together Again and Again and Again
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

This crowd-pleasing and engaging discussion of dinosaurs highlights the scientific process and the role of artists in science as it traces the way new discoveries deepen humankind’s understanding of the world.

Ever since mysterious bones were found in 1822, scientists and artists have tried to figure out what the creature they came from looked like. But it seems that every time they’ve made up their minds, someone makes a new discovery, and they have to start all over. That’s only fair, though—after all, it’s how knowledge advances!

With an inviting tone and detail-filled art, Sean Rubin traces the process of defining—and redefining—the dinosaur called Iguanodon. Entertaining, accessible, and beautiful, his tale will delight dinosaur fans, budding artists, and anyone curious about how science really works.

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Hardcover
$21.99

Kirkus Reviews

Lively, funny, and mesmerizing.

Booklist

A terrific tribute to the adaptability of the scientific process and the wonders that it unearths.

Horn Book Magazine

Rubin's pencil, watercolor, and digital collages portray the paleontologists and artists of each era alongside a rendition of the time period's signature dinosaur, with humorous asides from both species.

Publishers Weekly

How do people conjure what extinct dinosaurs looked like? Via carefully cross-hatched pencil and digital collage, sprightly prose, and comic asides--and using informative sidebars to catalog changes in iterative iguanodon portrayals--Rubin (This Very Tree) surveys changing depictions of dinosaur anatomy. First, the work straightforwardly presents Mary Ann Mantell and husband Gideon's 1822 discovery of parts of an unknown creature. The couple attributes their findings to an extinct animal, which Gideon names "iguanodon"; he believes a bony spike they find sat on its nose. Early attempts to sculpt dinosaurs capture public attention, but "unfortunately, they were totally inaccurate," reads tongue-in-cheek text ("Seriously. This is embarrassing," an early iguanodon sculpture complains). When a complete skeleton is unearthed in 1878, paleontologist Louis Dollo suggests that the iguanodon walked upright, a theory that subsequent discoveries, showing no tailmarks, debunk. But Dollo does identify the bone spikes as part of the creature's hands. More recently, in the late 20th century, John Ostrom's theories led paleontologists to see dinosaurs as birds' colorful forebears. Images of dinosaurs tend to be accepted as fixed; this volume shows them as continually changing, and presents those changes as examples of science as "a process that never ends." An author's note concludes. Ages 4-8. Agent: Marietta B. Zacker, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (Mar.)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"The chipper text is entertaining and educational, packed with humorous asides and unexpected anecdotes without losing the overarching story. Younger readers will adore the arresting artwork, and older readers will appreciate the wealth of newfound knowledge." — Booklist (starred review)

"Via carefully cross-hatched pencil and digital collage, sprightly prose, and comic asides, Rubin surveys changing depictions of dinosaur anatomy and presents those changes as examples of science as 'a process that never ends.'" — Publishers Weekly

Classification
Non-fiction
ISBN-13
9780063239210
Lexile Measure
-
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Clarion Books
Publication date
March 19, 2024
Series
-
BISAC categories
JNF003050 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Animals | Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures
JNF037050 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Fossils
JNF051190 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | History of Science
JNF024020 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Health & Daily Living | Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries
Library of Congress categories
Dinosaurs

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