Monday, August 8, 2011

Morning!  Inspired by a PowerPoint our intern Sarah Bennett put together, I though "Hey, why not share our list of favorite archaeology books with others!"  Thus Monday Morning Book Review is born.

First up, Archaeologist Dig for Clues by Kate Duke.  This soft cover, colorful publication by HarperCollins (1997) is a great starter for kids ages 5 and up.  The colorful illustrations by Kate allow young readers to follow a class fieldtrip to an archaeological dig. 

Sample page with text and illustration.

Sample sidebar

In addition to tools and time periods you'd excpect such a book to cover, there are great sidebars on how sites are found, how things get buried so deep, and how to map and fill out paperwork.  For example the sidebar on how sites are found has a cute illustration of a tractor, backhoe, airplane, and old book to point out most sites are discovered accidentally or by methods other than "x marks the spot" on a map.

For student readability I tested it out on my 6 year old.  She was able to read and enjoy the pictures.  It was fun for me as an archaeologist to share what mommy does in a way she could self explore the pages.  In otherwords, her attention wasn't always on what I was reading, but the illustrations and sidebars help focus her on a different aspect of archaeology at least once per page.

The last page makes me smile, it's a short quiz that reinforces what children should do when they uncover an artifact.  Option A is to DIG DIG DIG!!!  And Option B subtly reminds them there is a state archaeologist they can bring the artifact to, or better take a map of where they found the artifact.  Option B channels their interest into becoming an observer or participant should the find lead to a dig. 

Strong finish with excellent message, great work!

Overall A++!  Great messaging, great illustrations, and a good tool I've used to bring archaeology into the classroom.

Blog text: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff

Illustrations by Kate Duke in Archaeologists Dig for Clues

Find it on Amazon: Archaeologists Dig for Clues

Come on now, how cute is that!

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