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Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! (Boy, We Were Wrong #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  45 reviews
The ancient Chinese thought they were magical dragons. Some old-time scientists thought that because they were so big, all they could do was float in water. Boy, were they wrong! Even today, once-common notions about dinosaurs are being revised as new discoveries are made. This lively book about the perennially popular subject of dinosaurs offers fascinating insight into h ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 22nd 2005 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
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Dinotopia by James GurneyHow Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? by Jane YolenHow Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane YolenHow Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane YolenEdwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems
Dinosaur Picture Books
103rd out of 114 books — 20 voters
The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve SheinkinThe Port Chicago 50 by Steve SheinkinBomb by Steve SheinkinSniffer Dogs by Nancy F. CastaldoThe Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon by Bea Uusma Schyffert
Middle Grade Non-fiction
12th out of 25 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 264)
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Miriam Axel-lute
On my post about errors about the natural world in kids books, a few people piped up to say that the social biases in kids books bother them more—stupid fathers, prissy girls, everyone white, etc. I wish it were as easy to dispatch those with a simple top ten list, but they're far more insidious and numerous.

However, here's one tiny stab at the overlap: A bit of a commentary about the blinders that social biases put on scientists.

The book in question is called Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs.
For K-3rd grade

In picture book format, this shows many of the ways scientists have been wrong about dinosaurs, and suggests things that we might still have gotten wrong.

Rather than focusing on a particular time period or type of dinosaur, this book sets out to explain different ways humans have misinterpreted dinosaur fossils in general. While it contains plenty of fun facts, and the full-page illustrations do a great job of bringing the text to life, the most remarkable aspect of thi
Shala Howell
I like this book because it shows how the theory of evolution applies to science itself. Strong hypotheses survive and multiply; weak ones die off. A scientist finds clues (in this case fossils), develops a hypothesis based on those clues, and as more information comes in scientists either confirm the earlier view or change it to account for the new information. Every generation of scientists tests the theories of the ones that came before as new information, new technology, and new methods for ...more
Aug 01, 2010 Kathryn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kathryn by: Mina and Lisa
This book is a great way to not only show kids the changes in people's beliefs about what dinosaurs were, but also to show that "scientific knowledge" is always evolving.

This book is a fun and engaging way to show the changes in scientists' beliefs about dinosaurs. From the early Chinese, who believed them to be dragons, to 1800s European scientists who thought dinosaurs dragged their tails and that Iguanodon had a horn like a rhinoceros, to the changes in the 1980s and '90s to considering dinos
Lisa Vegan
Jul 24, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids who love dinosaurs and/or science
What I most appreciate about this book is it shows clearly how science is a process, and how opinions and knowledge change over time. It makes clear that what we know now about dinosaurs might be proved just as incorrect as previous wrong assumptions.

The information is told in an interesting manner, and it’s sometimes funny too (thought bubbles coming out of the illustrated dinosaurs’ heads, etc.)

The illustrations are terrific too. I learned quite a bit just by viewing them, along with what I le
Mar 01, 2010 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We recently read another Boy, We Were Wrong book and liked it so much that I went right out and borrowed this one from our library too. It's a fun story and I love that it doesn't have the egotistical smug knowledge that all we know is correct. I love that it acknowledges that generations from now people will laugh at the mistakes we've made. But that's how science works and our girls are enjoying learning about how science is all about making hypotheses and then testing them. I highly recommend ...more
Anna Lawrence
Personal Reaction:
I really enjoyed this science informational book! Not only was it packed with information, but it was fun for me to read! The book was engaging and had humor which is something I enjoy! One thing that really stood out to me was the narrator made a point to say that the Chinese had been wrong about what dinosaurs were (they thought they could have been a species of dragon!) and scientists were wrong about many of the bone placements. I really liked that they made a joke about it
Meagan Furnia
This is a really neat book that talks about the many discoveries that have been made about dinosaurs and how we have had to revise what we thought we knew multiple times because even more new evidence was found. I think it's good for students because it shows how we must always keep searching for answers and that just because we got something wrong doesn't mean we can't improve our understanding.
For this Summer, I've been checking out one non-fiction book along with all the other picture books for my six-year-old son. He's lately been interested in dinosaurs, so this book seems like a really good choice -- and it was. He could read all of the larger text by himself, and we read the facts together. The illustrations were very well done and suited the text perfectly.
Debbie Lee
I absolutely love this book. It does a wonderful job of explaining the process scientists go through to learn about the past in a way that children can understand. The author is also not afraid to allow students to see that adults have made mistakes in their research throughout the years. However, we learn from our mistakes and continue to study and improve our research findings. I’m happy that Ms. Kudlinski explains fossils, patterns, bones, and layers of the earth. There is even a fossil layer ...more
Caitlin W.
Who doesn't love dinosaurs? This book is a wonderful first look into the world of our extinct friends. What is particularly great about this book is how it demonstrates that science is not foolproof, but can change when new evidence is brought to light. Fields that refuse to change are fields that never have a chance to improve, so the fact that this book goes through some of the debunked theories that some scientists proposed about dinosaurs really drives that fact home. Science isn't about uph ...more
Sarah Shufelt
With an amusing and very kid-friendly title, Kathleen V. Kudlinski and S.D. Schindler set high expectations with their book, Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! The author and illustrator team describe what scientists used to think about dinosaurs (such as that all dinosaurs dragged their tails on the ground) and what scientists now believe to be true (some dinosaurs held their tails aloft). The text and illustrations work together to bring the information to life. Students interested in the to ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Mackenzie added it
Shelves: non-fiction
I also chose this book because it would be good for a dinosaur unit or could just have for kids to learn about. Seem very interesting
I think of this as "My First Book on the Philosophy of Science." It emphasizes that uncertainty is inherent in the scientific process and that conclusions should not be elevated to dogma. Frankly, this is a lesson that many grownup scientists need to learn. Parents with strong religious convictions regarding the age of the earth and whether birds are related to dinosaurs will not like this book. For myself, I appreciate the balance it brings to the discussion- after all, none of us, either scien ...more
Great book, for many reasons. First, this will appeal to the young I-only-read-dinosaur-books crowd. The pictures are amusingly cartoonish, but not babyish. Secondly, the book should be part of any primary school unit on "the scientific method," as the book's focus is on the fact that scientific knowledge grows and changes. Things scientists thought to be inviolable truth were later proved wrong. Lastly, this is a good book to share when talking about the reliability of information sources. Sinc ...more
This book rocks. The factual content is presented with funny drawings. My kids loved it.

But this book is more than information on dinosaurs. The scientific process is exhibited in real-world examples. Incorrect theories are presented with the facts that lead scientists to believe they were wrong. The new knowledge is frankly stated without outlining every last detail, so my kids were able to reason for themselves about WHY the facts indicated the new theory.

Great Book! Definitely want to check
Melissa Stewart
Books that clearly explain the scientific method and the concept that scientific theories are amended over time are few and far between. And books that convey these ideas in a fun way are practically nonexistent. That's what makes Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs a true gem. Young readers will find the conversational, convessional writing style irresistible, especially since that same feeling is perfectly emboddied by the art. Look for companion titles abotu the solar system and the human body ...more
This book does a wonderful job explaining how scientists are still learning about dinosaurs. Everything is not known, and often time "facts" have to be reconsidered, tweaked, or all out discarded because of new information being discovered. This will not become an obsolete book in a library due to the opened minded way of discussing what could have happened and how scientists have changed, and will continue to change, their opinion on how dinosaurs looked, walked, parented, and died.
I checked out this book for my niece and nephew after reading my friend Dolly's review. The kids were both intrigued by this book, and not only seemed to enjoy seeing how our knowledge about dinosaurs has changed, but they also enjoyed comparing that progress to what they know about dinosaurs. This is a well done, exciting book for kids who like dinosaurs and/or science. So, just about every kid.
Jessica Bennett
I think this is a great introductory book for children that are learning about dinosaurs. It gives just the basic information in general about dinosaurs and does not go into detail about particular dinosaurs. I really enjoyed the illustrations for this book. I thought they were perfect for the age group it is intended for. Also, i really liked at the end where the author provided sources for more information about dinosaurs.
A great book for dinosaur fans. I love that this book demonstrates how our scientific knowledge is always changing and evolving. What is true for one generation may seem funny to the next as new discoveries are made. Dinosaurs are a perfect example of how our scientific facts have altered over time and the author makes it clear that even what we know today may be wrong in the future. The illustrations are wonderful too.
A cute book that goes into different theories that different people have had about dinosaurs throughout time. The book talks about how these different theories were formed and then how they were either proved or disproved.

This would be a great book during a science lesson about dinosaurs! It takes theories that may be complex down to a younger students level, and makes them accessible to them.
Gives excellent information in a format that is easy to understand. I knew most of the correct information and was interested to see the comparison between the old way of thinking and the current way, based on new evidence. I do think the small bubble commentaries by the dinosaurs are humorous. I will recommend this to my nephews, both who are obsessed with dinosaurs.
This is a very interesting books about dinosaurs. It talks about how people thought dinosaurs looked like and that they finally discovered what they actually looked like. Would be a good book for students to read if they like to learn about dinosaurs or if you are teaching a lesson on dinosaurs. The information is easy to understand and kept me interested the whole time.
I like how this book is written-with the original theory on one side of the page and the disproval of the theory on the next page. Very clever. Kids will enjoy seeing the original ideas of dinosaurs along with some fairly current changes to more common-knowledge about dinosaur appearance/bone-structure.

Great read aloud for elem. studying dinosaurs.
Boys tend to like nonfiction more than most of us adults can imagine, and few topics resonate with boys like dinosaurs. Here is a book filled with facts that kids can proudly repeat to their friends to show how much they know about real dinosaurs. The illustrations are full of funny pictures of the bad ideas we have had about dinosaurs over the years.

Destinee Sutton
Sep 04, 2008 Destinee Sutton rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 8-12
I think the message of this book is really important for young people to pick up on. Basically, that message is that science can be wrong and that our understanding of the world evolves over time.

That beings said, the illustrations and writing are a touch on the lame side. But for content it gets the big thumbs-up.
I have to admit that when I first heard about this book, I thought it was a pro-Creationism book telling how dinosaurs did not exist. Instead it is a book that tells about scientific mistakes regarding theories about dinosaurs. There is lots of good info here, and it helpful to remind us that science does not know everything.
This book examines what is known about dinosaur bones, behavior and other characteristics. It tells us about the facts that different scientists from ancient China to the recent past, that is believed to be true. Another informative book for anyone who enjoys learning about dinosaurs. Great illustrations!
Samantha Penrose
This book does an excellent job of explaining to a young child, what sorts of complications and errors are involved in the study of dinosaurs. Specific examples of misconstrued ideas are given, and it is suggested that we still may not have all of the right ideas about how dinosaurs looked and acted.
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Kathleen Kudlinski is the author of 40 children’s books. Her works range from picture books to the YA level and include natural history, biographies and historical novels.
When not writing, she is a popular speaker and writing instructor. Building on a BS in Biology and six years of classroom teaching experience, Kathleen later trained as a “Master Teaching Artist” with the Connecticut Commission
More about Kathleen V. Kudlinski...

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