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Stone Girl Bone Girl: The Story of Mary Anning of Lyme Regis Paperback – 1 Oct 2006
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Many children today are fascinated by fossils and dinosaurs and this interesting book will appeal to them. Designed for the confident reader and made accessible by an illustrated format and large typeface, this is the true story of Mary Anning, born in Lyme Regis Dorset in 1799, and describes her lifelong fascination with collecting fossils. At the time, this was a most unusual hobby, especially for a girl, and the title of the book, Stone Girl Bone Girl, is part of a rhyme made up by the other children of the town to tease young Mary.
The story begins when Mary survives being stuck by lightning as a baby, an event which her father, a carpenter named Pepper, believed made her special from the start. It is he who first shows her the curiosities to be found in the cliffs around Lyme Regis and teaches her their names: Thunderbolts, Fairy's Hearts, Crocodile's Teeth and Devils Toenails'. When Pepper is employed to make a cabinet for two lady scientists, however, they teach Mary that the correct name for her collection is fossils' and that somewhere in the cliffs they believe there is the skeleton of a great sea monster. Accompanied by the rich greens and purples and the striking visual style of Sheila Moxley's wonderful illustrations the story tells of Mary's eventual success in her search for the fossilised Ichthyosaurus, and the fame and respect this brought her. This book is much the tale of a child who dared to be a little different as it is a description of an important chapter in the history of fossil hunting.
A brief biography of Mary Anning at the end of the book tells of the importance of her discoveries in the build-up to the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species and her story will surely inspire young readers to follow their dreams as Mary followed hers. --Alison Jardine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An enjoyable story. The somewhat cartoon-like illustrations - making beautiful use of rich colours that saturate the page - may appeal to slightly younger readers. (PRS)See all Product description
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Mary Annings work was hugely influential in her own lifetime, and she is a great female role model particularly for girls interested in science and natural history. Recently my daughter has been learning about Mary Anning in school, so she took the book in for the class.
The story itself is enjoyable and informative, it encourages outdoor exploring and interest in history and nature, it also mentions the death of her father.
However I was surprised the story does not mention that Mary Anning had a brother, Joseph, and also it seems to suggest that aher pet dog (possibly the reincarnation of her dead father) was responsible for her major discovery of Ichthyosaurus, although other sources credit Joseph with this discovery.
Overall I would definitely recommend this book as an introduction to fossils and women in history, although the suggestion of reincarnation may be uncomfortable for some parents.
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