When Sue Found Sue
Toni Buzzeo and Diana Sudyka
Abrams Books for Young Readers
“Never lose your curiosity about everything in the universe – it can take you to places you never thought possible!” so said Sue Hendrickson the palaeontologist subject herein, her quote being the starting point for this fascinating book that tells the story of the discovery of the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever unearthed.
Living in Indiana, Sue was a shy child with a heuristic drive, particularly for anything in the natural world; she also had a passion for finding lost items, was often found with her head in a book
and loved to visit the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
Her interests led in her teens to her joining first a team of underwater treasure hunters looking for tropical fish, lost boats, planes and cars; and then teams searching mines for prehistoric butterflies, deserts for prehistoric whale fossils and finally, the hills of western South Dakota for dinosaur fossils.
In her fourth summer of digging Sue was drawn towards a sandstone cliff and after four hours of hiking in the heat,
looking up, she spied three enormous pieces of what look like back bones protruding from the cliff. Almost unbelievably Sue and her dog, Gypsy had come upon fossils of a Tyrannosaurus rex.
Then began the arduous task of removing the 300 bones in the intense heat, a piece-by-piece task that took several days.
After an ownership dispute we see the dinosaur reconstruction duly named after Sue on permanent display at Chicago’s Field Museum.
Both Buzzeo’s narrative and Diana Sudyka’s detailed gouache and watercolour illustrations will surely inspire young readers to be mindful of the book’s opening words, to make sure they look closely at the world around them and to hold onto their own spirit of adventure and pursue their passion whatever that may be.
An author’s note about Sue Hendrickson’s contribution to the scientific community, and two resource lists end the book.