Finalist: USA Best Book Awards 2014, Children’s Non-Fiction
See the complete list of winners here.
Finalist: the International Book Awards 2014, Children’s Non-Fiction
See the complete lister here.
School Library Journal
“Sticks n’ Stones n’ Dinosaur Bones by Ted Enik, illustrated by G.F. Newland -From a small small publisher but a lovely little book. Look for it!”
We were included in Elizabeth Bird’s list of books she regrets not having reviewed in 2014. See the full list here.
I really like this book! In it we meet two personalities from paleontology’s history and experience a fictionalized account of their race to outdo each other. The writing is done in rhyme, which I love because it’s so much fun to read. It flows well and has a nice rhythm. I like all the wacky phrases that the author used, and the made up dinosaurs the characters found. I particularly liked the big “discoveries” the two rivals came up with. I couldn’t help but laugh at those. The illustrations are are just as good as the writing. They are really expressive and chuck full of personality. The book is quite long. It’s definitely for older kids (ages 4 and up). Your child needs to be old enough to comprehend the story and what’s happening. I read it to my kids and my kindergartener loved it and has asked to read it multiple times (which we did). My three year old wandered away half way through. So it may be too long for a preschooler, but it’s perfect for kids in kindergarten and the lower grades of elementary.
I didn’t realize that the war of the dinosaur bones got so personal as to be an all out vendetta between two scientists, Edward Drinker Cope and O. Charles Marsh. When scientific discovery goes bad, it erupts into a war of words and scandal but the benefactors are the museum goers because this “Gold Rush” for dinosaur fossils during American’s Gilded Age (1865 to 1890s) sparked the general public’s interest in paleontology that continues today. [non fiction rhyming picture book, ages 6 and up]
Anna Geiger, author of the blog The Measured Mom, Education Resources for Parents and Teachers, kindly mentioned us in her post on Fun Books about History for Kids! June 13th, 2014
This newly published book was a Finalist in the 2014 International Book Awards. And no wonder! It’s the hilarious, rhyming tale of two paleontologists, Edward Drinker Cope and O. Charles Marsh. The two bone hunters brought men and materials out West, each determined to uncover more bones than his rival. While the men made tremendous contributions to paleontology, their feud spun out of control. They resorted to bribery, theft, and even destruction of bones.
The book is based on fact, with a little color thrown in.
When “real” discoveries weren’t enough
The Gentlemen started unearthing Pure Fluff.
If Marsh hit the news with a “Watchamacaurus,”
then Cope answered back with his “Thingamasaurus.”
When Cope, after breakfast, unveiled an “Invention,”
a tick before dinner Marsh found a “Pretendon.”
“Incredible-docus,” a “NeverWas Rex,” a “LetsSeeHow LongICanFoolYou-ter-x.”
A “Fake-us,” a “Fraud-us,” a “Phonybalone-us,” A “LookOverThereAndPleaseLeaveMeAlone-us.”
The Seussian style verses and eye-catching illustrations by G. F. Newland are a winning combination. When my five-year-old saw the book by my computer, he begged for me to read it. Newland’s humorous, kid-friendly drawings drew him in. If you love to ham it up when reading aloud, you’ll thoroughly enjoy Sticks ‘n Stones ‘n Dinosaur Bones!
Young preschoolers may have a hard time sitting for this one, but kids as young as five will enjoy it when a parent takes time to explain the history first. I stopped a few times to explain some passages and new words to my Five. Not only did the book open him up to some history, but it also taught him some great vocabulary.
Bonus: the book appeals to an older audience, too. I can totally picture my energetic high school history teacher starting a lesson with this fun book. Recommended!
Emily Graslie (isnotadinosaur), host of Youtube’s “The Brain Scoop” and Chief Curiosity Correspondent to the Chicago Field Museum, was kind enough to give Sticks ‘n Stones ‘n Dinosaur Bones a 10 of 10 rating! Thanks Emily! You need a Tumblr account to visit Emily’s blog here.
Sticks ‘n Stones ‘n Dinosaur Bones
by Ted Enik and G. F. Newland
I received an email a few weeks ago from Ted Enik after he saw Dimetrodon is Not a Dinosaur and felt compelled to write to me. You may not be familiar with Ted’s name but you would certainly recognize his children’s book illustrations; the most famous character he’s put to color and line is none other than Ms. Frizzle. On the list of people who have most inspired me in my life I’d have to say Ms. Frizzle and her Magic School Bus sit pretty near the top for the positive impact those stories had on my budding imagination, so when Ted asked if I’d review his latest book (one he authored with illustrations by the talented G. F. Newland), of course I agreed. This isn’t a paid endorsement but he did send me a copy of the book. And no, I’m not going to make a habit of using my blogs to write book reviews; this is a special case.
I spend quite a bit of time complaining on this blog about dinosaur (and#notadinosaur)-themed books, toys, and other miscellaneous merchandise for its lack of educational value. I’m happy to say that this is not such a book. On the contrary, it’s a silly retelling of a very serious and lifelong rivalry between two early paleontologists: Edward Drinker Cope of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, and Othniel Charles Marsh of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale. These two early paleontologists quickly became caught up in a competition to find the most, biggest, and best dinosaur fossils – a race that was known as The Bone Wars, or the Great Dinosaur Rush, between the 1870’s and 1890’s.
Enik manages to capture the ridiculousness of this situation with well-paced rhymes, and Newland’s illustrations are fanciful but evocative of the late 19th century, with artistic whimsy included. It’s definitely the type of book that would be a great gateway for young enthusiasts of historical nonfiction.
My only criticism goes to the end of the book where the authors list some of the more magnificent discoveries of the two paleontologists (rivalry aside, they were immensely accomplished). I learned there that Dimetrodon was one of Cope’s discoveries, but the book refers to it as a mammal-like reptile.. a detail I was quick to point out to Ted, but I really don’t blame him because it’s not common understanding that the phrase is outdated. So, it’s a forgivable misconception. Plus, he didn’t have a paleomammalogist as an editor, so.
I’ve never written a book review before so it’s all to say that I really enjoyed this one, and it would have been absolutely be the sort of thing I’d read as a kid – or to my kids, if I had any. Maybe I’ll just take it to a park and read it to some random children. That might be weird. But it’d be worth it, because this book rules.
Sticks n’ Stones n’ Dinosaur Bones receives a 9/10 superstar rating as Emily Graslie’s humble personal opinion. If you’d like to see some sample pages, watch a book trailer, or order a copy, be sure to check out their site! Unhinged History.
EDIT: Just heard from Ted. He fixed the “mammal-like reptile” phrase. Review upgraded to 10/10, would read again (and again).
“An hilarious romp of a hard-to-believe yet true tale, cleverly spun by Ted Enik and charmingly illustrated by G.F. Newland. A book to be enjoyed by dinosaur lovers of all ages!”
Robin Preiss Glasser, illustrator of the Fancy Nancy series
One Book at a Time’s Cleary Roberts
Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh are two paleontologists from the late 1800’s that are competing to find the very best dinosaur bones in an era known as “The Bone Wars”. In this very whimsical book, you follow these “instant enemies” while they do the unthinkable to each other just to get ahead in the paleontology world. To what ends will they go to just to find the biggest bones of these prehistoric creatures? Using clever rhymes, Ted Enik captures the revenge seeking bone diggers true selves and uncovers the world of paleontology.This is the first book of Enik’s Unhinged History Book series, so keep your eye out for more coming soon!
G.F. Newland captures the rivalry of Cope and Marsh perfectly in his beautiful and fun illustrations of the prehistoric story. He goes back and forth between soft colors and bold colors. Some pages are light, like they were colored softly with colored pencils. The rest of the pages are brighter and the lines are thicker. These images look like they were drawn with acrylics. Newland does an amazing job at putting the story into action. No two pages are ever the same in this book. Every page is drawn out specifically to what is happening in the text. Some pages are very detailed with newspaper articles and creative backgrounds, while others are simple and straight to the point. G.F. Newland never disappoints in his illustrations, and this book is no different. You are sure to be entranced in the fantasy-like pictures of the book!
This book would be a wonderful book to use during a science or history lesson when learning about the dinosaurs. I would use this book to explain the time era that dinosaur bones were really starting to be studied more deeply. Not only is it informational, but it is a different take on just an everyday story about a historical event. This book would also be beneficial when talking about paleontologist and what they do. I would also use this book to familiarize the students with a poetic writing and rhyming, since this is not just a typical book of poetry and has an actual plot. I would use this book as a writing activity as well. I would use it as a prompt and example before having the students create a poetic story about their favorite time of history.
Great Fun For The Kids (and adults, too)!!!!, February 26, 2014
By Brian Wray – See all my reviews
This review is from: Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones (Kindle Edition)
Having been in charge of bedtime reading for many years, I have to congratulate Ted Enik and G.F. Newland on this charming, intelligent, rare gem of a children’s book. It’s unusual to find a story that entertains the adult as much as the child, but Stick ‘N’ Stones ‘N’ Dinosaur Bones does it. With a clear tip of the hat to Dr. Seuss, Enik uses playful wit and inventive rhyme to tell a true tale of two Paleontologist’s efforts to outdo each other. Newland’s vibrant illustrations are wonderful – feeling at once familiar, yet entirely new. Together, the book provides a plethora of fun moments for children and parents to laugh (and learn) together.
Very Fun!, February 21, 2014
By Dena “Books for Kids” – See all my reviews
This review is from: Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones (Kindle Edition)
I really like this book! In it we meet two personalities from paleontology’s history and experience a fictionalized account of their race to outdo each other.
The writing is done in rhyme, which I love because it’s so much fun to read. It flows well and has a nice rhythm. I like all the wacky phrases that the author used, and the made up dinosaurs the characters found. I particularly liked the big “discoveries” the two rivals came up with. I couldn’t help but laugh at those. The illustrations are are just as good as the writing. They are really expressive and chuck full of personality.
The book is quite long. It’s definitely for older kids (ages 4 and up). Your child needs to be old enough to comprehend the story and what’s happening. I read it to my kids and my kindergartener loved it and has asked to read it multiple times (which we did). My three year old wandered away half way through. So it may be too long for a preschooler, but it’s perfect for kids in kindergarten and the lower grades of elementary.
Elizabeth Franklin of the Portland Book Review writes: “The book is a fun read for kids, adults, teachers and their students. It also contains a good moral to discuss.” Read her review here!
Prehistoric Times, celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year, is the magazine for dinosaur enthusiasts and collectors of related merchandise. Each full color, 50+ page issue includes reviews of the latest prehistoric animal model kits, toy figures, books and more, plus interviews with artists and scientists, artwork from the finest paleoartists in the world and the latest scientific discoveries in paleontology. Also news and information about prehistoric life you won’t find anywhere else! See their review of Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones in the February 2014 Edition.
20 February, 2014: About.com’s Bob Strauss says “this is a book I’d vastly enjoy reading to my three-year-old twins, who are too young to appreciate the intricacies of paleontology but would love to hear more about a dinosaur ‘Ten Matterhorns high and ten Grand Canyons wide/with squiggles and dots decorating its side.'” Read the whole review here!
17 February, 2014: 4 of 5 stars from Dena, at Books For Kids, reviews and news of children’s books, eBooks and book apps. Also, check out Dena’s Q & A with series author, Ted Enik!
A very nice review from Daddy Mojo, a Parenting site on Family, Life and Poop Culture.
See all of the very encouraging, positive reviews from Amazon readers!
Very clever drawings and poetry
By Elyse Parmentier (USA), January 1, 2014
This is a very intelligent children’s book, clever enough to keep an adult interested. The pages are full of quirky illustrations and the story is written in verse. I haven’t read it to any children yet, so I can’t report on their responses.
Delightful, informative, and it rhymes! Kudos.
By Herman Huber, Ph.D. (Madison, NJ, US) on December 1, 2013
What a delightful and educational book! Even adults can enjoy the mysteries and controversies of paleontology. Beautifully illustrated, and rhyming no less, my grandchild thought it was marvelous. Hopefully there will be other books by these two authors/illustrators.
Author of “The Most Curious Girl in Her Class: The Adventures of Hecky and Shmecky.”
Don’t Miss This Book! Super Story! Wonderful Illustrations!
By Vicki Long “www.vickilong.com” (USA) on December 1, 2013
This review is from: Sticks ‘n Stones ‘n Dinosaur Bones (Unhinged History) (Paperback)
Wow! This book is a must read for dinosaur lovers, history buffs, and Everyone else that loves a great story. The illustrations are Wonderful and carry the reader through this Fantastic rhyming story. This story incorporates the sensationalism of the 1800s and how a true event often was exaggerated way out of proportion until these stories took on a life of their own. The stories and the contest between these two men became more popular than the true expeditions of these two explorers to find dinosaur bones. This is a Must read!
Excellent book! I love it!
By Sharissa Reichert on November 25, 2013
This review is from: Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones (Kindle Edition)
Beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written. Not only is this book full of interesting historical facts, but it tells a little lesson about morals too. Fun to read and look at. A must have for any children’s library.
By Bradley on November 17, 2013
A book for ALL who are fascinated about dinosaurs…
By Dana Everitt on November 10, 2013
Who knew the history of paleontology could be so fun?! I loved learning about these two scientists whose passion turned into obsession and ultimately caused their undoing. The story bounces along at an engaging pace with Enik’s witty rhymes and it’s beautifully supported by Newland’s clever and humorous illustrations. This book is tons of fun for readers of any age!
By Curtis E. Rosser on November 4, 2013
This first creation of Enik and Newland is, in my opinion, what a good children’s book ought to be. It refuses to play the lowest common denominator card that so many books for kids are guilty of – shallow stories, a facile excuse for a moral and little else. Of course, the standard against which so much of children’s illustrated literature is measured is Dr. Seuss. Seuss always managed to couch his “lessons” beautifully in nonsense, fabulous wordplay, absurd plot twists, fantasy and his unique illustration style. Sticks ‘n Stones ‘n Dinosaur Bones makes no attempt to “out-seuss” the master. Rather, it takes all the best qualities of a kid’s book and creates a genuine page-turner, based in actual history, a book that young readers will want to return to again and again and again.
Enik’s linguistics and jaunty (that’s the only word that captures their cadence and energy) verses are playful, clever, unpredictable and smart while being totally accessible. He peppers in just the right amount of nonsense and off-kilter words that kids and adults alike will find funny. The verse moves the story forward at a quick pace that takes what could easily be dry subject matter in adult form and transforms it into a hilarious race for fame and fortune between two extremely likable charlatans. Just the whole notion of trying to con people about dinosaurs struck me as funny, especially given the historical context; those were days when things like dinosaurs and ghosts captured the public imagination in ways we’ll never know.
Rarely does one get a perfect combination of written text and illustration. G. F. Newland’s artwork is fresh and colorful while simultaneously a throwback to illustration styles of the late 1950s and 1960s. They give the book just the right feel for evoking another time period; they possess a sort of days-gone-by quality. His depiction of the two principle characters are wonderful – even visually their rivalry is in full view. The tall and lanky Edward Drinker Cope cuts a dashing figure against the squat O. Charles Marsh who sports a mustache almost as big as his entire body. His illustrative touches give great movement to the book and his little touches are everywhere: for example, once the two rivals have both fallen out of favor, poor Cope stands by a barrel of useless bones for sale, while Marsh faces a surly crowd in which someone holds up a sign that has the word “Huzzah” crossed out and “Boo!” scribbled in its place. Or, there’s Marsh standing on a crate to be able to write on a blackboard; it’s imaginative details like those that elevate not only the illustrations, but the entire book.
Sticks ‘n Stones ‘n Dinosaur Bones has all the makings of a new classic. The pairing of Enik and Newland is a new team that will very likely produce challenging and intriguing children’s literature for a long time to come.
A very nice review by Roger Smith of the New Zealand based Dinosaur News
When I started my professional career (more years ago than I care to remember) it was as a junior school teacher. A favourite activity of my pupils was reading or more precisely, being read to. The most popular titles or topics being Dinosaurs and Dr Seuss; a dead heat in popularity. I have often wondered why no one had thought of combining both in a junior reader and I am pleased to report that they have done so now.
Sticks ‘n Stones ‘n Dinosaur Bones is a delight. Written by Ted Enik and whimsically illustrated by G.F. Newland it is sure to fire the imagination of youngsters while at the same time relaying a bizarre chapter in the history of dinosaur discoveries. The antics on bone hunters Cope and Marsh in the late nineteenth century are well know to all palaeontologists but perhaps less so to younger readers? After they have read Sticks ‘n Stones ‘n Dinosaur Bones they will be enlightened and so will the parents to who take the time to make this a bedtime book read.
Neither Cope nor Marsh were backward about coming forward when they found something new:
Each daily discovery — certain to stun — went leapfrogging over the previous one.
If any bone promised a glimmer of glory, aScout set about telegraphing the story.
Both men’s credibility took a hammering when they came to publically exhibit their finds, their reputation has been partially restored as their headline-capturing expeditions pushed the science of palaeontology to the fore.
Their early “Eurekas!” are very well-known,
and lots of their fossils are still being shown.
All in all, this is a great little book and a lot of fun!
Published by Pixel MouseHouse. Available on Amazon.com (click here) for the princely sum of just $US 11.69. Enjoy! (I did)
Roger Smith — Dinosaur News 11/3/2013
A book for ALL who are fascinated about dinosaurs…
By Natasha Rabin on September 25, 2013
Bravo Ted Enik and G. F. Newland for such a fun, interesting, creative, quirky depiction of “The Bone Wars” – told in rhyme – with whimsical words and illustrations. Capturing the scramble of two paleontologists in the late 1800’s to out-discover each other, makes for a a clever and amusing saga of the lengths they went to in their ruthless competition to find (or invent) dinosaurs. Great to read to kids enthralled with dinos but not unlike a favorite children’s book of mine – Eloise – it’s for “precocious adults” too.
Ted Enik is the new Dr. Seuss!
By Eileen Deutsch on November 3, 2013
But perhaps a bit more sophisticated. I read Sticks ‘N Stones ‘N Dinosaur Bones with a huge smile on my face from beginning to end, and could almost hear young voices say “Again, again” on the last page. This book is a joyous verbal rollercoaster ride through Mr. Enik’s charming twists and turns of phrase, written with tongue firmly planted in cheek yet full of historical information presented with charm and wonderful humor. I can’t wait for the next one!