Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins

Submitted by Ms. Tess!
The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins is an extraordinary book about an extraordinary figure, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins. This Caldecott honor book (2001) by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by (the incomparable) Brian Selznick, tells the remarkable story of Mr. Hawkins, an artist who dared to dream in the 1800's. Waterhouse loved to sketch and sculpt animals, and was especially fascinated by dinosaurs. He was asked by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to create life size dinosaurs for their Crystal Palace. Not much was known about what dinosaurs looked like back then, so Waterhouse used as much scientific data as he could find, and his imagination, to create wondrous creatures! He even invited top scientists of the day to have dinner in his cast of the Iguanodon! He then traveled to the United States and spent 2 years building dinosaurs to be displayed in New York City, but they were tragically destroyed by vandals (probably in the employ of notorious,villainous, American politician "Boss" Tweed) and buried in Central Park. Waterhouse Hawkins would be thrilled to see what we've discovered about dinosaurs since his lifetime, and his legacy lives on, through his dinosaurs, which you can still visit in England, and this book about his life. See this book listed in our catalog

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