When Sue Found Sue

Buzzeo takes her audience along on the thrilling morning Sue Hendrickson spots a tantalizing bit of what turns out to be the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton found to date, and her description of the quiet scene is wonderfully suspenseful, even for readers who already know the outcome. Sue, accompanied only by her dog, hikes in thick fog toward a cliff face to which she has been inexplicably pulled, and spots three huge backbones sticking out of the mountainside. But this is not even the best thing about the book! As the narrative builds toward the finding of Sue the T. rex, Buzzeo is already celebrating shy, studious Hendrickson, who “wasn’t like other kids,” and how her insatiable thirst for knowledge and intense curiosity would lead her on an incredible journey from hunting random trinkets as a child to looking for tropical fish, lost boats and planes, and fossils as a specialist in paleontology and marine archaeology. She concludes by pointing out again that Hendrickson as a child was “so different from the others” but her “curiosity has lead her to find things – and always will.” What a wonderful message for kiddos, introverted or just otherwise unsure of themselves: who you are is amazing! Sudyka’s artwork, beautifully rendered in muted earthtones, is warm and happy. Use this book to kick off a unit on paleontological digs and/or prehistoric beasts (solemnly swear to make a dig for kids by hiding treasures in a sand pile), but it really is about so much more than the perennially favorite topic of dinosaurs. Keep it in mind for that kiddo in the back row who quietly sparkles.

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