FOSSIL

Claire Ewart, Author . Walker $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8027-8890-0

"I found a stone/ that once was bone," begins the girl narrator of this lyrical tale that traces a fossil's journey. Harking back to the themes she explored in Paul Fleisch-man's Time Train , Ewart shows readers the imprint of the bone in the ground on the first page, then on the next spread, depicts the bone as it appears within a prehistoric bird's anatomy ("Thin bone,/ framing skin stretched tight,/ spread to warm in dawn's first light"). Succeeding spreads clue readers into the pterosaur's habitat, diet and behavior. Ewart begins with the cycle of a single day, then smoothly makes the transition to the passage of time ("Stretch at dawn,/ again take flight./ Until, one day,/ old bone,/ tired bone, cannot rise,/ to slip again through amber skies"). A spread charts the winged being's slow descent to the ocean floor, and epochs pass—indicated by land creatures evolving on the shore, from horse-like animals to woolly mammoths—until the narrator discovers "a stone that once was bone," bringing the narrative full circle. Dinosaur fans and budding scientists will likely clamor for this snapshot of archeological and paleontological history. Ages 3-8. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/26/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
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FORMATS
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-8027-8891-7
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-0-8027-3737-3
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