Bones in the White House: Thomas Jefferson’s Mammoth By Candice Ransom & Jamey Christoph

Back of Book:
In the late 1700s, America was a new nation, with a vast west that held age-old secrets: Bones! Massive tusks and enormous animal skeletons were being discovered and Thomas Jefferson – politician AND scientist – was captivated. What were these giant beasts? Did they still roam on American soil? Jefferson needed to find out. Funding explorers, including the famed Lewis and Clark, Jefferson sought to find a complete prehistoric mastodon skeleton – one which would advance the young science of paleontology, but would also put this upstart young country on the world stage. Follow along on the incredible journey – full of triumphs and disappointments, discoveries and shipwrecks, ridicule and victory.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Double Day Books in exchange for an honest review.
l am a true history buff and love finding historical picture books to share with my students. Since tomorrow is Presidents Day, we will be reading and discussing this fantastic book on Tuesday.
Most biographies cover the scope of Thomas Jefferson’s life, but this story focuses on his love and dedication to finding fossils. Jefferson was always curious, as a boy, he spent time studying shells in the Blue Ridge Mountains and wondering how they ended up in the mountains of Virginia. As an adult, Jefferson made it his mission to show America the majestic bones of the Mammoth. He worked incredibly hard to collect as many bones as he could find and allowed people to come and see the astounding attraction. His bones were eventually donated to the University of Virginia where they were somehow lost, and to this day never recovered. The back of the book has more information about Jefferson in history, as well as information about mammoths and mastodons. The illustrations by Jamey Christoph are beautiful. They have a dreamlike quality that captures the historical period and draws readers into the story. This is a fantastic nonfiction biography that shares an important aspect of Thomas Jefferson’s life. I highly recommend this story!!
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages
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