Review by Booklist Review
When baby Brown was born, his parents wanted to give him an unusual name, so they named him after P. T. Barnum. From a young age, Barnum loved exploring the area around the family farm in Kansas. This part of the country was once an ocean, so there were plenty of fossils to collect, and this satisfying hobby eventually led Barnum to a job at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where he was charged with adding a dinosaur to the museum's collection. The turn of the last century was an exciting time for fossil hunters, and Barnum made some thrilling discoveries, his crowning achievement a Tryannosaurus rex, displayed to gasps when it was unveiled. Although the artwork here is not as stunning as Brian Selznick's in Barbara Kerley's The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins (2001) these pictures have a scope and generosity that capture both the size of the dinosaurs and the vast Badlands where many of their bones were found. Sheldon also adds whimsical touches--in many of the illustrations dinosaurs are in the background, looking over Brown's shoulder as he works. Extended by a substantive author's note, this solid picture-book biography captures both its subject and a time when excitement over dinosaurs was still fresh, and conveys them to today's audience. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2006 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 1-3-Working for the American Museum of Natural History, Brown became a leading paleontologist during the late 1800s, eventually discovering the first nearly complete Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen. Moving from his childhood through his career, the narrative conveys the excitement of dinosaur discoveries, along with some of the hard work involved. The focus is more on the man's work than on his personality, but readers learn about his preference for dressing stylishly, even in the field, and get a sense of his energy and commitment. Ink, gouache, and acrylic illustrations effectively support the text. Evocative images of dinosaurs in the background complement the sharply drawn foreground figures on several spreads. A couple of these dinosaurs cleverly mirror the posture of Brown at work, and one particularly effective scene shows the paleontologist examining T. Rex fossil teeth while an imagined version of the dinosaur peeks mischievously over his shoulder. An author's note fills in some of the details of the work of Brown and other early dinosaur hunters. More informative than Jane Kurtz's Mister Bones: Dinosaur Hunter (S & S, 2004) and more engaging than Brooke Hartzog's Tyrannosaurus Rex and Barnum Brown (Rosen, 1998), this is a fun picture-book biography of a historical figure with strong child appeal.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
Barnum Brown, named after showman P. T. Barnum, lived in a time of tremendous dinosaur discoveries, but one of his finds captured the imagination as few others have--Tyrannosaurus rex. In this informative picture-book biography, Sheldon's highly readable text is accompanied by textured ink, gouache, and acrylic paintings, whose highlights include shadowy dinosaurs looking over Brown's shoulder as he works. Reading list. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Paying tribute to the renowned paleontologist who discovered T. Rex, Sheldon pairs a simply written text rich in specific detail to painted scenes of spectral prehistoric beasts rearing up behind a nerdy, dapper gent who is, usually, standing in some dusty locale and staring distractedly through wire-rimmed glasses at likely looking rock formations. Sometimes working in direct competition with rival teams of dinosaur hunters, Brown had a legendary ability to look in the right places, and not only did he make many important discoveries, but in the course of a 66-year career, he founded the unique fossil dinosaur collections at New York's American Museum of Natural History. Readers of Jane Kurtz's easy-reader, Mr. Bones, Dinosaur Hunter (2004), will find more background here about Brown and the late 19th- and early 20th-century "bone wars," as well as a fine gallery of toothy fossils and fleshed out reconstructions. Meaty afterword too, plus address and reading lists. (Picture book/biography. 5-8) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.