The 50 State Fossils

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

This is a fun educational book for kids. Each state gets a double page spread that shows what its state fossil is (if it has one, which most do) or what would be recommended if it doesn't. There's a picture of the fossil, a pronunciation guide, and a bit of history about the fossil and how it applies to the state. Some fossils are duplicated, of course, but the information varies by state so it is still educational. This could be especially fun for kids who are interested in fossils and dinosaurs, but could also be a fun resource when learning about the 50 states. We had fun looking at the fossils of states we visit often, states we've vacationed in, and our own (Minnesota, which doesn't have a state fossil but had the giant beaver suggested in legislation in the 80's, which failed).

I viewed a temporary digital ARC of this book for purpose of review.
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This was a nice, concise collection of the state fossils.  Each page had photos, identifying scientific information, and a brief description of why the fossil was important to the state.  For young scientist this will be a nice browsing book or introduction to fossils.  It could also accompany state report resources.
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Amazing educational book for children. My boys are in love with dinosaurs and fossils and they were completely in love with this book. Wonderfully written and fantastic illustrations make this a must have for any fossil fan! We will purchasing copies for our permanent shelf!
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Okay, so The Fifty State Fossils by Yinan Wang, with illustrations by Jane Levy isn’t the kind of book I’d normally pick up and read, let alone review. It’s a children’s book, and I’m way past that state just now. But it did catch my attention because I’m a geoscientist (though not a palaeontologist, of fossil specialist) and because it struck me as the kind of book from which I could learn something.

For a start, I didn’t know that states had state fossils. They don’t all — some have state dinosaurs and some don’t have anything at all, but for those not blessed in this particular way there’s a recommendation, so every state has a page. The author has even managed to come up with something for Hawaii, which is way younger, geologically, than most of the fossils described in the book. 

I was surprised, in  good way, by the amount of information the author and illustrator managed to pack into such a small space. Each page has a section on the appropriate fossil, with a description, some basic information (remember this is a children’s book, so nothing too complicated) and a note on it’s relevance to the state. Alone with this, illustrator Jane Levy has produced a drawing of each fossil as it might have been when alive, and there’s a map showing where in the state it has been found and, for good measure, a photograph of it in its fossil state. 

There’s also an impressive amount of ancillary information. The early part of the book has some simple definitions of the geological context, explaining taxonomy and the geological timescale, while the back includes some really useful listings of places to go fossil hunting and a glossary of terms.

All in all I found it a fascinating read and can imagine it would go down extremely well with the next generation of budding fossil-hunters. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Schiffer Publishing for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
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This is a great addition to a dinosaur unit. I loved the illustrations and information. The kids will love this and the adults will too. FInd your inner paleontologist with this one!
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Wang & Levy's The 50 State Fossils covers each of the 50 US state fossils. Every entry has a picture of the fossil (or fossils), an illustration of the fossil(s), and information about each. Not every state has an official fossil yet, and these states are given suggestions based in what kinds of fossils are found in the region. All kinds of fossils are represented, not just dinosaurs. There are Cambrian oddities, and Ice Age giants, along with saurs. Plants and invertebrates are represented as well as vertebrates. My cubs and I enjoyed going through this book, seeing all the different types of fossils. This is a wonderful tool for illustrating us geography in a fun way, and is the perfect gift for budding paleontologists!

***Many thanks to the Netgalley and Schiffer Publishing for providing an egalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Goodreads Rating: 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.

I was pleasantly surprised how comprehensive and informative this is! It will make the perfect addition to any young dinosaur/prehistory lovers shelf, as it contextualizes many dinosaurs and prehistoric life--some widely known, some not--in a new way, state-by-state. It's also a great way to teach the states to youngsters through a lens they're sure to be interested in. It does have relatively advanced vocabulary, but I wouldn't let that deter purchase at all. If anything, it's an even better reason to buy it, as it can be a read-aloud book, with fun pictures, and kids can grow into it, returning to favorite states or fossils as they get better at reading.

Each state's fossil, which includes dinos as well as trace fossils and some plants, is given a brief history, an inset state map showing where the fossils can be found in the state, a fun illustration of the critter or plant, and supplementary photos. For states that don't have a fossil, Wang suggests a possible fossil that has been found and has relevance to the state already. A brief introduction gives info on what fossils are, how they're formed, and how state fossils become official.

Having loved "state-by-state fact" books as a kid and still having never truly grown out of my dinosaur phase, I very much enjoyed perusing this (I even learned some new facts!), and would highly recommend it to the next generation of prehistoric-obsessed pupils.
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Does your state have a state fossil.  Most do, and those that don't usually have a state dinosaur or state stone instead.  In Yinan Wang's The 50 State Fossils: A Guidebook for Aspiring Paleontologists, we learn about each state's fossil (or dinosaur or stone), getting an introduction to the fascinating world of paleontology.



One of the surprises to the uninformed (and the target age of the book is elementary school students who are, by definition, uninformed!) is the presence of aquatic animal fossils in land-locked states like Kentucky and Nevada.  Wang works in discussions of the changing geography of North America.  



For each state, Wang describes the fossil, dinosaur, plant, or whatever in a few paragraphs, sometimes including details about the fossil's discovery and addition as the state fossil.  He includes photographs, a map of where the fossil is found in the state, and illustrations by Jane Levy of what the original organism would have looked like.


The fossils from from tiny invertebrates to large reptiles and mammals.  (The mammoth is a popular state fossil.)  I'm guessing the states that got in early on the state fossil game snatched up the cool ones like triceratops and stegosaurus, leaving lowly creatures like the trilobite to Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Just kidding, I'm sure those states are rightly proud of their small but interesting ocean-floor-dwelling creatures.



I was a dinosaur-loving kid many years ago.  I was also so jealous when I would read about a kid who found a fossil out on a creek bed or something.  The 50 State Fossils is sure to foster curiosity and passion about the creatures and plants that occupied our space many millions of years ago.





Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!
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I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The 50 State Fossils: A Guidebook for Aspiring Paleontologists takes a look at the official state fossil of each state in America-and the District of Columbia. As a native Texan, I was familiar with the state dinosaur of Texas, the Paluxysaurus jonesi, but had"t given much thought to the other 49 states. The 50 State Fossils introduced me to all of them. The book begins with an introduction to paleontology and the different types of fossils and how they are created. The states are shared in alphabetical order and those states without an official state fossil are given suggestions, so no state is left out. Each fossil has its own mini "biography", complete with helpful pronunciation guides. At the end of the book, there is a glossary of terms and a guide to fossil museums, broken down by state. 
I love fossils and greatly enjoyed The 50 State Fossils: A Guidebook for Aspiring Paleontologists. Fossil loving young readers are in for a treat!
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Young paleontologists and dino-enthusiasts will find this easy to follow title informative and fun!  Who knew each state had a state fossil?  With a table of contents, headers (alphabetically by state), and a colorful variety of illustrations, timelines, charts, graphs, maps, and photographs, this is sure to catch a reader's attention.  Bold faced terms are defined, and the author uses various text features to ensure the reader understands the concept before moving on to the next concept.  Pronunciation keys are especially helpful with complicated terms.  Artistic renderings are whimsical; the list of "Places to Find Fossils" by state will have kids begging for an educational trip.  Further reading recommendations also provided.  Highly recommended for public, elementary, and middle grade libraries.
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The 50 State Fossils: A Guidebook for Aspiring Paleontologists, is a book that many upper elementary through high schoolers might find useful and fun to explore.  The book, while short (72 pages), is data dense.  I’d suspect the most likely reader would be looking for specific information on fossils in the particular states(s) of interest, including the District of Columbia. But the introductory material would bear some time exploring.  Not only is there a general introduction but specifics provided on how fossils get formed – from “cast and mold” to “original material” and everything in between. There are data supplied on how various states processed getting their particular fossil or in some few cases have only a state rock, state dinosaur, or have none recognized. As a generalized book, the volume provides a general description of geologic time and animal/plant taxonomy (classification). These could be useful to a budding paleontologist or fossil hunter.

After the general introductory sections, each state is presented in alphabetical order with their fossil, or rock, etc. Since the book is a type of reference, many readers will probably go first to the state of their birth, states where they’ve lived, states where they’ve gone to school, or so on.  In my case, this could be the fossilized tooth of the Carcharodon megalodon (a great white shark ancestor that would reach over 59 feet long!)  Only teeth have been found thus far but lots of them have been discovered in coastal areas of North Carolina. In this case, like all the others, a map of the state showing where the fossil is found is shown.  Additionally for each state’s fossil, there is a geologic time scale; when the fossil was designated; a line drawing of the fossil or original animal if the fossil is only a part; and a photograph of a specimen. Since most of the terms are scientific names, a pronunciation guide is provided.

This would be a good book for any student looking for more information on fossils found in particular states, in other words it is a focused reference.  Many readers will get pulled in by the their first reading of a state’s fossil and end up reading about other states’ fossils, perhaps where their parents were born or worked. The book is short enough to be easily read in a short time and could be a springboard to deeper reading on fossils. If the parent is also reading the book it could lead to some interesting family conversations.

Keeping in mind the general reference nature of the book, the ending material provides ample additional assistance.  This includes a glossary, list of sites in each of the states to go and see fossils, suggestions for further reading including URLs, a listing of photo credits, and finally a comprehensive index of the book’s described fossil information.  All in all this would be a really good book for a classroom or school library.  If a parent has a child with a strong interest in paleontology it could make a good gift for a special occasion. It would be a useful science interest item.
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The book starts with an introduction on fossils and then goes state by state explaining what each state’s fossil is.  The photographs and illustrations are super cool even if you just flip through the book.
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The 50 State Fossils is a fun guide to the United States and the different Fossil that can be found in and around the state.  Each state fossil is detailed out with amazing pictures, information that will keep even the youngest in the family wanting to know information. 50 State Fossil is a can't miss book to add to your collection or your children's collection of books. 
 I don't have any future paleontologist not one of my kids could put this book down.

This is the perfect birthday or Christmas gift for a family who loves learning or dinosaurs. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy Yinan Wang The 50 State Fossils: A Guidebook for Aspiring Paleontologists
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This is a really excellent introduction to fossils around the country, and I know many kids that would love this simple layout and straight facts. Appreciated the inclusion of non-dinosaur fossils, as these more "recent" extinct creatures -- especially ancient trees and plants -- have less mythical appeal and are often more approachable. From a librarian standpoint, I appreciated the back matter but wish there had been a works cited. Clearly lots of research went into this book, but sources aren't credit well.
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This certainly has an American bent, but I can't in all fairness restrict it to that market.  Using the fact that a vast majority of the US states have a state fossil, or state dinosaur (or indeed both), it guides us through them all alphabetically, and introduces us to the things that make them distinctive.  Presentation is fine, with a conceptual picture of how they may have looked in action, and a smaller photograph of an actual fossil, cast or model.  The introduction was pretty complex in easing the young in, but I think on the whole it acts both as a youngster's first database of fossil dinosaurs, and as an inspiring lesson in a potential hobby or career.  What helps in that is the maps to show their distribution – and the fact that not all of the prehistoric fossils have actually died out...
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We enjoy reading about dinosaurs and fossils around here, so I found The 50 State Fossils: A Guidebook for Aspiring Paleontologists not only a great introduction to fossils, but also a unique viewpoint on American geography. Since fossils are found all over the world, it's sometimes hard to remember which dinosaurs roamed when and where, etc. This book helps to give fossils a distinctly American context.

Of course, while dinosaurs are probably the most famous and cool fossils out there, the general category of "fossils" involves a lot more: mammoths and other ancient mammals, plants, shells, footprints, and more. It was interesting to read about which kinds of fossils are more common in which states. For the few states that do not yet have an official state fossil or dinosaur, the book gives a brief history of attempts as well as a suggestion or two of what might make a good choice. I really had no idea what my state's fossil was, so I appreciated getting the chance to read more about it (pertica -- a unique plant).

There is a page here for each state, which includes the fossil name, scientific name, time period, a couple illustrations and/or photos, and a several-paragraph description. The beginning of the book gives some information about how fossilization occurs, time periods, etc., while the end of the book includes a glossary and also a list of places (such as museums), per state, where you can visit to see fossils. Very cool and informative!

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)
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The book is broken down into chapters that explain, locate and date fossils. There’s a clear layout, right down the the identification of fossils within individual States. The key terms are nicely defined not only within the book but in the Glossary. 
The best bit has to be the geological time scale; it’s brilliant to see such a clear, user friendly layout.
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Young or old, there's a common interest among rock hounds and fossil fellows- to find out more & to learn all you can. As a homeschooling parent,  I judge a book by its visual appeal and engaging text. This has both! Fossils are an area of study which can be seen as dry and boring but this is definitely not that!

The 50 State Fossils book will go a long way in bringing information galore to a younger audience in an accessible and engaging manner. STEM-driven kids will thrive on the facts within the pages. There's enough here to aid in a science fair presentation, a 4-H project, or to glean nuggets of info to wow the grandparents!

Yinan Wang delivers a brief fossil history for each state, giving succinct and interesting information, perfect for STEM-curious kids. Each state is given a two page spread for the fossil write up, illustration of the particular state fossil, an inset of the state map, and a photograph of the fossil. Some states' pages also include a note &/or pronunciation guide.

Note for Young Earth believers: The typical "millions and millions" type jargon is contained within this book, and is presented as assumed fact. (Just a heads up.) This does not dissuade me from liking this book both as a Christian parent nor as a home educator. 

The 50 State Fossils is a new presentation of our past, gathering information together in a manner sure to appeal to elementary age children. This would be an excellent addition to school and public libraries, homeschool bookshelves, and any home that has inquiring minds.
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Great informative book on all kinds of fossils and their respective states. The beginning gives an in-depth look at fossilization, time periods, and geology - which was impressive, and I immediately worried about the intensity of the rest of the book. But I was pleasantly surprised by how digestible the content was for each state. The descriptions for the state fossils are accompanied by one or two paragraphs, a picture of the state, and both a  drawn and real picture of the fossil or thing fossilized. Just a really fun book (even talks about how a fossil becomes recognized as a "state" fossil) that can be easily translated into activities. Having your classroom choose a "class fossil" or "class dinosaur", taking a trip to the local natural history museum, or making your own fossils in clay would be a perfect fit alongside this book.
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This is a really cool book! Kids will love it. I love that it's so thorough. This is clearly a well researched book, and the information is clearly organized and easy for readers to find and understand. There are so many topics related to fossils covered in the descriptions throughout the book. 

I can see my own family turning this into a travel guide.
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