Tag Archives: bones

Bone Collection: Animals by Rob Colson

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IMG_4093Bone Collection: Animals by Rob Colson and illustrated by Sandra Doyle, Elizabeth Gray and Steve Kirk, paperback non-fiction, published by Scholastic Australia in 2013.

Explore the animal world through their skeletons. Bone Collection: Animals covers a range of animals from fish and frogs to apes and humans. First it looks at the skeleton of a specific animal, then follows this with facts about similar animals. At the end of the book, there was a double page with a lion’s skeleton separated with the major bones named. There were also some general bone facts, and a glossary to help with some of the terms found within the text that may be unknown to a young reader.

A combination of illustrations, photos and diagrams alongside fascinating facts about a wide variety of creatures make this an excellent non-fiction text for primary school students. The illustrations of the skeletons throughout this book are exquisitely detailed. The depth of information is good for this age group, whilst also being interesting and presented in an appealing style.

My third grader read this book to me, and we both learnt quite a few things! She just wanted to keep reading until we were finished, as she was finding it so entertaining and enlightening. We liked that each page had a little diagram showing the relative size of the creature to an adult human. Her favourite animal was the three-toed sloth with its long arms and claws, while I found the blue whale’s humungous jaw bones very interesting.

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Doll Bones by Holly Black

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IMG_2738Doll Bones by Holly Black, paperback novel, 244 pages, first published by Doubleday in 2013, this edition published by Corgi in 2014.

Best friends, Zach, Alice and Poppy have made up a fantastical world that they play out with dolls and figurines. The Queen in this world is a very old, fine bone china doll, that is kept displayed behind glass at Poppy’s house. When Zach unexpectedly refuses to play the game any more, Poppy and Alice remove the Queen from the cabinet, discovering that she is full of what appears to be some ashes. Poppy dreams that the Queen was really a girl called Eleanor Kercher who died in 1895, and she wants Poppy to return her to her grave. This quest leads Poppy, Alice and Zach on an interstate adventure, as they try to placate Eleanor, and fulfill her last desire.

Doll Bones is an adventure ghost story, and it is also a coming of age story. Zach, Poppy and Alice are pre-teens still playing out the fantasy game of their childhood. Becoming haunted by the spirit of a lost and angry little girl trapped inside a doll, is the last true adventure of their childhood, as they move towards more teenagerish past-times. They embark on an epic quest into regions unknown in the middle of the night by themselves, vastly unprepared for such a journey. Add in a creepy doll, vivid dreams, unexplained occurences and misadventures, and you have a spooky tale indeed.

This would be a good book for middle and upper primary school students to read, especially those that like a good ghost story. I thought the story was okay, but nothing spectacular. It was an easy read, and interesting enough, but I didn’t find it gripping. I am putting that down to the fact that as an adult I like a good horror or mystery story, and spooky stories for children just aren’t spooky enough for me! Having said that, I always take photos of the books I review to add to the post, and I took photos of this book, transferred them to the computer, but when I went to add one to this review, the photos were all blank! That’s a little creepy coincidence…

I hope that my second grader will give Doll Bones a read so I can get a true child’s perspective on the story. The story did flow well, and the character’s personalities really came through from the story, so it was a good book that I think many children would enjoy.

 

Dinosaur Dig

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Sporting some stylish eye protection.

Sporting some stylish eye protection.

Another of our purchases from Lincraft was a Dinosaur Dig Kit, including a sand block containing a dinosaur skeleton, some goggles, and some tools for excavating the bones. L loves dinosaurs, and she was super excited to get into a dig. Big L set her up at the table after A was in bed. He placed the block on a wooden board to minimise the mess. L donned the goggles, and got to work. She worked patiently and carefully, concentrating hard on her excavation. Using the mallet and peg, she dislodged some of the block to reveal a small section of bone. She was able to use the paintbrush to remove some of the dust from the protruding bones carefully.

 

Using the mallet.

Using the mallet.

The dig site shut when it was time for L to go to bed, and re-opened the following night. It took four or five nights for her to completely uncover the skeleton, which was in pieces.

Using the paintbrush to clean off the bones.

Using the paintbrush to clean off the bones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She soaked the pieces in some water to loosen any sand that was left. She utilised a toothpick to clean out some of the grooves and holes on the skeleton. Once all the pieces were clean and dry, she assembled the skeleton to make her dinosaur.

Soaking the bones.

Soaking the bones.

Using a toothpick to scrape out some sand.

Using a toothpick to scrape out some sand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L really enjoyed the whole process of the dinosaur dig, and she definitely wants to try another one.

A girl happy with her dino.

A girl happy with her dino.