Thursday, September 20, 2018

THE DINOSAUR EXPERT by Margaret McNamara & G. Brian Karas

What a nice book for a STEM collection!

Children's book review of this great picture book highlighting women in science 
Summary from the publisher:

Mr. Tiffin and his students are back in another picture book, and this time the focus is on dinosaur-loving Kimmy. During a field trip to the natural history museum, Kimmy is thrilled to share what she knows about the Stegosaurus and the Archaeopteryx and even the ginormous Titanosaurus. That changes when one of her classmates questions whether girls can be paleontologists. Kimmy starts to feel shy. What if they can’t? What if no one wants to hear what she has to say? It will take some help from Mr. Tiffin–and from a famous scientist–for Kimmy to find her voice again.

The Dinosaur Expert was written by Margaret McNamara and illustrated by G. Brian Karas. It was published by Schwartz & Wade Books in 2018.


Kimmy collected things so she could study them.

My thoughts as a writer:

This book shows a way to blend factual information into a narrative. There was an obvious message in the text of this story (women can be scientists) but I really liked the way the author included all the facts and details in with the story.

My thoughts as an educator:

Dinosaur lovers will find this book interesting! It’s would be nice to include it in a school library or classroom collection because it showcases women scientists. As a read aloud, I’d use this book to encourage some discussion about women and different occupations and roles. There are interesting dinosaur facts in this story, too.

Ages: 5 - 8

Grades: K – 3

Themes: dinosaurs, scientists, paleontology


STEM Challenge: Create a collection of something that interests you. Include at least 5 items in your collection and write a label for each item.

List: Think of something you know a lot about. Make a list of some interesting things you could share with others.

Research: Choose one of the women paleontologists in the back of the book. Try to find out more about her.

Imagine:  Draw a picture of a dinosaur “field trip.” What would you see?


  1. I have been reading and writing middle grade fiction for many years now because my youngest is 11 years old. I miss reading to him and thought I would check different blogs to see what's new in picture books. The Dinosaur Expert looks terrific and I can't wait to read it and share the title with a friend who is a school librarian. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love G Brian Karas’ work! Thanks for introducing me to this one.

  3. What a great twist on a dinosaur book -- encouraging girls to think about being scientists. Enjoyed your activities at the end. Perfect classroom book!

  4. Honestly, a school elementary library can never have enough good dinosaur books!

  5. Great empowerment book. I look forward to reading it more closely. Thanks

  6. Oooh - can't wait to read! And I love your activities.


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