Sticks ’n’ Stones ’n’ Dinosaur Bones

Being a Whimsical “Take” on a (pre)Historical Event

The first book in the Unhinged History series is a ripping yarn—full of adventure and deceit—that brings to life the best-known public spat in all of paleontology: the bitter rivalry between Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh. This frenzy of discovery and one-upmanship—known today as the Bone Wars—was a gold rush–like scramble to find the most and “best” dinosaur fossils, thus bringing to glory to their respective home-base universities. Lively and witty rhymes plus wonderfully demented illustrations reveal how the paleontologists’ infamous rivalry began, and how—despite making genuine and lasting contributions to the field—their mutual obsession with outdoing one another spun out of control.

The illustrations are going to grab your eye and have you journeying across the entire page with its minute details, vivacious coloring schemes and humorous characters PLUS there are dinosaur bones!

The story is lyrical with its rhyming sentences that flow in almost a song like way. As I read this aloud to my daughter who is  a huge dinosaur fan at times I caught myself nearly singing some lines thanks to how well they flow which she thought was funny.

Even as an adult I didn’t know about this type of archeology’s early beginnings so I found the story fascinating which caused me to look up more about the early hunters and museums for us both. I think this is a wonderful way to introduce some historical context into a scientific dominated subject and plan to use this as a basis for some fun summer lessons.

It’s a wonderful book for caregivers and educators to use to stir up interest in how early settlers found the bones – before Jurassic Park made them popular.

Thank you to Netgalley and Schiffer Kids for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from

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