To the tune of a familiar ditty, budding paleontologists can march, dig, and sift with a crew of dinosaur hunters.Modeling her narrative after “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush,” Lendroth (Old Manhattan Has Some Farms) invites readers to add appropriate actions and gestures as they follow four scientists—modeled by Kolar as doll-like figures of varied gender and racial presentation, with oversized heads to show off their broad smiles—on a dig. “This is the way we clean the bones, clean the bones, clean the bones. / This is the way we clean the bones on a warm and sunny morning.” The smiling paleontologists find, then carefully excavate, transport, and reassemble the fossil bones of a T. rex into a museum display. A fleshed-out view of the toothy specimen on a wordless spread brings the enterprise to a suitably dramatic climax, and unobtrusive notes in the lower corners capped by a closing overview add digestible quantities of dino-detail and context. As in Jessie Hartland’s How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum, the combination of patterned text and bright cartoon pictures of scientists at accurately portrayed work offers just the ticket to spark or feed an early interest in matters prehistoric. A common topic ably presented—with a participatory element adding an unusual and brilliant angle.
Lendroth’s nonfiction picture book is both a great read-aloud and a fun source of information. The main text mimics the children’s song “This Is the Way,” but instead of brushing teeth, readers are digging for bones, sifting through dirt, and cleaning bones. Smaller text on each page offers more details about the work the diverse cast of childlike paleontologists is doing. Bright digital illustrations make the story engaging and accessible for young readers. Additional facts about dinosaurs are included at the end of the book. Suggested movements to act out the story are also mentioned. VERDICT This is a perfect book for a dinosaur storytime.
—School Library Journal