Nonfiction Friday: Dino Poop

Dino Poop and Other Remarkable Remains of the Ancient Past by Jane Hammerslough (Scholastic 2006) is one of my favorite books from the kids’ dino-obsessed days. First, the title is perfect for children: what child doesn’t love any excuse to say “poop?” Second, each book comes with a piece of real dino poop (technically known as a corprolite), which totally raises the cool factor. Third, the book is chock full of information, maps, quizzes, activities and more.

Hammerslough discusses how ancient remains help us learn about the past. Dino poop — some dating back 400 million years — provides clues about what dinosaurs ate and how they ate, as well as the environment in which they lived. Some paleontologists, called paleoscatologists, have devoted their life solely to the study of dino poop. Amber, which Hammerlogh calls “tree spit,” has preserved ancient insects, reptiles, plants and moe dating back 225 million years. She also discusses the roles of permafrost; peet bogs, which have preserved whole humans; and asphalt like the La Brea Tar Pits, which has preserved many ice age mammals.

In the back, she includes activities like making your own dino poop doorstop using pasta, making edible amber out of jello, and creating fossils using plaster. There’s lots of hands-on fun for sure.

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2 Replies to “Nonfiction Friday: Dino Poop”

    1. I would say “it depends.” The book is listed as ages 9 and up. However, my young five year old loves this book, especially since there are lots of pictures, some hands-on activities, quizzes, etc. Because you are homeschooling, I would guess your kindergartener is more advanced than the average child. I would say “go for it.” It never hurts to have books they can grow into.

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