The Deepest Dig
by Mark David Smith; illus by Lily Snowden-Fine
32 pages; ages 3-7
theme: mammoth, bones, STEAM
Caden found something in the backyard.
It was as long as a fence post. It was as hard as a stone. It pushed up through the soil like a root. But it wasn’t a stone or a root or even a fence post. It was definitely a treasure, said his neighbor, Martha. But no one else believes Caden about his treasure. If it was a treasure, we could go traveling, says mom. If it was a prehistoric animal, I’ll eat my hat, says Caden’s science teacher. But Caden, with Martha’s help – and her truck and winch – pull up the bone. Then more. And soon an entire skeleton which Caden tries to assemble in increasingly funny ways.
What I like about this book: It’s a fun take on finding bones in your backyard. And I love the nonchalance of Caden’s parents. I like that Martha has the truck and encourages Caden to dig deeper. And I really like that the story is based on a real event: a farmer in Michigan discovered mammoth bones in his soybean field. What I would have liked even better was if there had been back matter.
Beyond the Books:
Find out more about the discovery of mammoth bones in the farmer’s field. Here’s an article from the Detroit News. What other articles can you find about people discovering mammoth – or even dinosaur – bones in their backyards?
What does a mammoth site look like when scientists are digging? Check out this video of University of Michigan paleontologists.
Are mammoths ancient relatives of modern elephants? Here’s one article that compares the two. If you can, visit elephants at a zoo and make your own observations.
Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.