________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 4 . . . . October 15, 2004


Digging Canadian Dinosaurs.

Rebecca L. Grambo. Illustrated by Dianna Bonder.
North Vancouver, BC: Walrus Books/Whitecap, 2004.
64 pp., pbk., $16.95.
ISBN 1-55285-395-0.

Subject Headings:
Dinosaurs-Canada-Juvenile literature.
Paleontology-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Janice Foster.

*** /4


When it comes to dinosaur discoveries, Canada is one of the world's richest countries. Let's travel across the country and take a closer look at some of the coolest dinosaur finds in Canada!

Rebecca Grambo, wildlife photographer and author of other children's non-fiction titles, such as award-winner Borealis: A Polar bear's Cub First Year, provides dinosaur enthusiasts with her latest title, Digging Canadian Dinosaurs.

     From the discovery of dinosaur tracks and bones in the Yukon and Northwest Territories to Nova Scotia with its rocks holding the oldest dinosaurs, Canada offers dinosaur lovers the perfect setting to investigate the fascinating diversity of these prehistoric creatures. The author highlights key dinosaur discoveries in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Alberta with additional emphasis on Dinosaur Park in Alberta, home to extensive dinosaur findings. Grambo's interest in natural history is evident in the clear factual data she provides readers. Her inclusion of stories and anecdotes adds interest for the younger reader.

     The chapter, "Figuring Out the Past," highlights the partnership of computer technologists, artists and scientists and their roles in reconstructing the past. The book also includes an interesting chapter, "Dinosaur People Past and Present," focusing on the people who have contributed to our understanding of these intriguing creatures, ranging from our First Nations' peoples to geologists, paleontologists and other individuals such as fossil finder Barnum Brown and respected explorer Joseph Burr Tyrrel.

     The format of Digging Canadian Dinosaurs provides the reader with some interesting features. The use of proper terminology is supported by the inclusion of a Glossary and Pronunciation Guide. Coloured pages interspersed throughout the book add diversity and interest. For example, the page on Dinosaur Provincial Park connects this Canadian site to the great pyramids of Egypt, both places holding treasures belonging to the whole world. Catchy chapter titles, like "Rock Stars," and coloured fact boxes add further interest. The inclusion of a "Where Can I Learn More?" section provides the young researcher with additional sources of information through addresses and websites. The book has numerous softly coloured illustrations throughout. Illustrator Dianna Bonder's drawings depict the various dinosaurs within the factual context of the accompanying captions. Unfortunately, the maps contain no labels, and the reader needs to refer to later pages for specific provincial information.

     Digging Canadian Dinosaurs provides young readers with intriguing facts about the ever-fascinating subject of dinosaurs and information about how paleontologists study these prehistoric creatures in a unique Canadian context.


Janice Foster is a Middle Years teacher in Pembina Trails School Division in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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