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Children's Nonfiction Women

Fossil Whisperer, The

How Wendy Sloboda Discovered a Dinosaur

by (author) Helaine Becker

illustrated by Sandra Dumais

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2022
Women, Fossils, Science & Technology
Recommended Age
4 to 8
Recommended Grade
p to 3
Recommended Reading age
4 to 8
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2022
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


A captivating look at the life of a modern-day fossil hunter who makes the find of a lifetime told by award-winning author Helaine Becker.

Wendy has an eye for the unusual and is skilled at finding things that others don't see. While on a school field trip at age 12, she spots one of those unusual things poking out of the ground, and it turns out to be a piece of fossilized coral that's 100 million years old. Wendy's thrilled! And soon, she gets hooked on finding fossils. When she grows up, Wendy turns her passion into her career and becomes a preeminent fossil hunter, known as the “fossil whisperer” around the world. But it's on a dig close to home where Wendy makes her most important discovery: Wendiceratops!. Becker's narrative is full of energy, allowing Wendy's intelligence, independence and unconventional spirit to shine through. Sandra Dumais's illustrations keep the visual appeal high, cleverly presenting the modern-day story with loads of details while giving readers a feel for the past when dinosaurs roamed the land, including two intriguing gatefolds that reveal further secrets. This readable biography of a unique female role model in the male-dominated field of paleontology has strong STEM connections in life science and paleontology and applications in Earth history. It includes a biographical note, more information about Wendiceratops and fossil hunting, a timeline, a glossary and further reading.

About the authors


Helaine Becker
est l'auteure de nombreux livres jeunesse primés. Elle a écrit plus de 80
livres, dont Raconte-moi les graphiques : L'histoire de William Playfair et
l'album illustré à succès Un porc-épic dans un sapin. Helaine
habite à Toronto, en Ontario.


HELAINE BECKER is the author of numerous of books of fiction and non-fiction for children, among them the best-selling A Porcupine in a Pine Tree and its sequel, Dashing Through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells, The Haunted House That Jack Built and Little Jack Horner, Live from the Corner. Her books have won the Silver Birch Award and the CBA Libris Award and have been shortlisted for the Red Cedar, the Hackmatack and the Rocky Mountain awards. Helaine lives in Toronto with her family. Visit her at

Helaine Becker's profile page

SANDRA DUMAIS writes and illustrates comic books, picture books and stories for kids and other silly people. Her books have even received a few different honors and nominations, most recently Le Prix des Libraires in Québec. She lives in Montreal, Quebec with her husband, their two children, and a polkadot rescue dog named India.


Sandra Dumais' profile page

Editorial Reviews

... this book is a fine addition to a home or school library and one that is inspirational as well as entertaining.—Children's Literature

An entertaining account of a remarkable fossil hunter and an educational journey into the world of dinosaur fossils.—Kirkus Reviews

A worthy addition to the growing collection of STEM-related picture book biographies of pioneering women.—School Library Journal (Praise for Emmy Noether)

An entertaining account of a remarkable fossil hunter and an educational journey into the world of dinosaur fossils.

Kirkus Reviews

... an involving, empowering read, great for one-on-one sharing and for school and public libraries.—Canadian Children's Book News

Recommended for early nonfiction collections and any shelf emphasizing STEM titles or biographies of women.—School Library Journal

... leaves a strong impact on readers about Noether's impressive achievements, both as a mathematician and as an example of women's intellectual creativity and empowerment—Jewish Book Council (Praise for Emmy Noether)

Imagination-inspiring, text for older readers and pictures for all ages ... a great addition to collections ...—CM Magazine

Dumais's digital art ... showcase[s] the work that goes into paleontology. Becker's easygoing, exclamation-filled prose ... makes Sloboda's interest feel relatable, amplifying the joy of scientific discovery—Publishers Weekly

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