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Stone Girl, Bone Girl: The Story of Mary Anning
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Stone Girl, Bone Girl: The Story of Mary Anning

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  195 ratings  ·  42 reviews
A brief biography of the English girl whose discovery of an Ichthyosaurus skeleton in 1811 when she was twelve led to a life-long interest in fossils and other important discoveries.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Scholastic
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  195 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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I do apologise to especially my Goodreads friends who have found Laurence Anholt's (author) and Sheila Moxley's (illustrator) Stone Girl, Bone Girl: The Story of Mary Anning a sweet and engaging tale, but truth be told, I have not much enjoyed the illustrations and have actually and in fact totally and utterly DESPISED the narrative, the story itself, or rather, I should say, the misleading and strangely fantastical manner in which author Laurence Anholt has chosen to present the very much impor ...more
Feb 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
A fascinating story about Mary Anning, the little girl who survived a lighting strike as a baby and grew to love fossils. She found many along the clay cliffs of Dorset in the early 1800s and sparked a great excitement about the "ancient creatures" eventually finding one of the most important fossil skeletons in history. I think kids fascinated by dinosaurs will be naturally drawn to this story--when I was little, I always wanted to find dinosaur bones and it would have been cool to read about a ...more
Lisa Vegan
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: children interested in dinosaurs &/or have lost a parent &/or are bullied/have bullied
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
Every month the Children's Books group's Picture Books Club reads 6 books that have a theme. July’s topic is dinosaurs. I’d already read the other 5 books when I was finally able to pick up the 6th book today, this book. I’m so grateful this book is one of the selected books because I think it is exceptionally good and I really enjoyed it.

It’s the story of an English girl, born in 1799; she lived in Lyme Regis, England, and at a tender age found a fossil of significance, and then went on to dis
Jul 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ronyell by: The Picture-Book Club
"Stone Girl, Bone Girl" is a brilliant biography about Mary Anning, who was known for digging up extraordinary fossils back in her day. In this tale, Mary Anning loved digging for strange rocks called "curiosities," but when she meets the Philpot sisters, who were famous scientists, they told Mary that the "curiosities" were actually fossils and that one of the fossils, that belong to a giant sea monster, is the greatest treasure of all. Will Mary find the fossil of the giant sea monster? Read t ...more
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture, science
Really my four stars are for the story of Mary Anning herself -- the narration is fine but nothing special, and the illustrations, while interesting, seemed a somewhat odd choice to accompany a story set in early-nineteenth-century England.
Crystal Marcos
Jul 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a great read! The illustrations were perfectly drawn to set the mood of the story. I found myself right there in the 1800's! I was very intrigued by this story, as I knew nothing about Mary Anning or where Lyme Regis was. I also always wondered about that little rhyme I use to sing as a child and was fascinated to find out where it came from. (She Sells Sea Shells) That is such a hard tongue-twister! There was a lot of information packed in this children's book; from a birth to a death ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Would-Be Paleontologists
Struck by lightning as an infant, Mary Anning was an unusual young girl from the very beginning, but it was her father's gift of a "snakestone," found in the clay cliffs near their home in Lyme Regis, that set her on the path that would truly make her stand out. Fascinated by the beautiful "treasure," she set out to find more, spending so much time on her new hobby that the local children made up a rhyme about her: "Stone girl, Bone girl. Out-on-your-own Girl." Despite the ridicule of her peers, ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it
The kids and I are studying Mary Anning. We've read a couple of versions of her story. This one is well-told and illustrated, but not my favorite -- mostly because some of the major points of Mary's story are left out or changed (most curious is her brother's unnecessary absence). But I do appreciate that this one brings in the Philpot Sisters, which some others do not.
Jul 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brenda by: The Picture-Book Club
Shelves: picture-books
I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting hearing about Mary Anning's life and where her interest in fossils came from. There are interesting elements of bullying and teasing which could be used as great teaching tools.
Nadine Jones
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
lovely picture book biography
Emma Long
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Stone Girl, Bone Girl: The Story of Mary Anning is a wonderful picture book biography of a twelve year old girl and her dog who discover a fossilized full skeleton of an Ichthyosaur in the cliffs above her home in Lyme Regis. The story opens with a dramatic event in which Mary is struck by lightning as a baby. The fictional account of Mary Anning's life creates a comfortable view of family life with her father igniting her passion for all things fossil related. After the death of her father 'Pep ...more
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a bittersweet tale about a young girl who helped to discover many different fossils. The sad circumstances of her childhood are certainly disturbing and I would recommend this book for older children. The bullying that she endured was only tempered by the silence of her tormentors when she became famous for her discoveries.

I did not know that she was the inspiration for the following tongue twister (I had only ever heard the first line before):

She sells seashells by the seashore.
The sh
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
In Year 5 we are currently covering the topic of Mary Anning, so we used this children's story book which tells of her first Fossil find in 1811 in a child friendly manner.

May Anning was born in 1799 in Lyme Regis, Dorset. She got struck by lightning at the age of one then went on to discovered the fossil of an Ichthyosaur. Although this story has been edited to be suitable for children, it has many of the facts embedded in it.

The illustrations are good and weird at times but adds to the charact
If I had read this picture book on Mary Anning before the others I have read, it probably would have had a higher rating. However after reading other material about this young self-taught archeologist this reads more like a work of historical fiction than a biography. Several of the “facts” presented were not accurate, making me question all the information given. The most blatant being the appearance and disappearance of her dog and constant companion; who tragically died in a rock slide, not r ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the VERY best biographies for children I've found! I LOVE that this book is about a young girl AND female scientists in the 1800's. This is a great introduction to fossils--plus we love the rhyme at the end--and it's really about this girl who discovered the ichthyosaur, Mary Anning. Great Great Great
Michael Fitzgerald
Did not like the primitive illustrations.
Jessie Kellock
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, reviews
The story of Mary Anning's life, with beautiful striking illustrations.
Does not shy away from the issues in her life but equally does not dwell on those issues.

Used to teach children about Mary Anning's life, with KS1 i adapted the story as the book is incredibly wordy and would not have held my youngest children's attention. The story itself is more suited to KS2. I kept the illustrations and the children made additional inferences based on these. The older children had a look at the book on
A brief biography of the English girl whose discovery of an Ichthyosaurus skeleton in 1811 when she was twelve led to a life-long interest in fossils and other important discoveries.
Busy Mummy
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lovely book to compliment a topic on dinosaurs and looking at the interesting life of Mary Anning. Great for cross curricular opportunities.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the style of this book and how it was presented. But, I think a more detailed afterword would have helped give the reader a more complete sense of Mary Anning's life.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Real childhood favourite. :) Mary Anning is my absolute hero. Can't believe she's apparently such an obscure historical figure!
Shala Howell
Jun 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Stone Girl, Bone Girl tells the story of Mary Anning, an extraordinarily prolific fossil hunter born in England in 1799. When Mary began fossil hunting, she did not understand the significance of what she was finding. She was just hunting for curiosities, which she could sell to tourists in Lyme to make a bit of money for her extremely poor family.

Her first major find came at the age of 12, when she uncovered an ichthyosaur. Over the years as she continued to hunt in and around the cliffs of Lym
Mary Anning's discoveries are awe-inspiring when one reads about the small village in which she lived and the risk to those climbing the cliffs in which her first discovery was made. This picture book biography captures her life and her discoveries for the young reader. While I'm sure the face of despair that Mary wears through the book in the illustrations may reflect her rather solitary existence, what little girl would want to be like her if she always looks miserable?
Sharon Green
Dec 01, 2008 rated it liked it
grades 3-5
historical/problem realism
scientic discovery/dinosaurs lovers/female scientist in 1800's
strong text and image interaction/folk art/dialog
story of Mary Anning born in 1799. Loved to dig for stone shapes in cliffs of Dorset, England.Discovers fossils and searches for remains of great sea monster.At 12 years old Mary makes one of the most important scientific discoveries of her time.

This is the story of Mary Anning, who endured bullying and bereavement, but found an Icthyosaurus fossil and confounded the expectations of those around her. It's an inspiring read and beautifully illustrated, though it is a long read for kindergarten ages. I'd suggest reading at home over a few nights with older K2s to really appreciate this, although children do select it in our library because the pictures are so lively.
A beautifully told biography with lovely illustrations and poetic word choice. This narrative follows young Mary as she discovers "curiosities" with her father that turn out to be the key to her and her mother's survival after his death and bring magic (or at least beauty) into her world in the wake of loss.
This isn't the first book about Mary Anning that I've read, but I might have to call it the best I've read. This one let's the reader in on the backstory of Mary's life in a way that others I've read have not. I really liked the story and the end notes were also illuminating. If you want to know about Mary Anning, this is probably the best book from which to learn it.
Margaret Boling
6/15/11 ** Lyrical text and vivid illustrations combine to tell the story of Mary Anning, an early fossil hunter and self-taught expert on fossils. Focuses primarily on the early life experiences that led to Anning's scientific discoveries.
Dec 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: kids who want to be archaeologists
A lovely tale about the childhood of renowned fossil finder Mary Anning who made huge contributions to science and our collective understanding of biology. An inspiring and interesting story for all, especially girls.
Jun 17, 2011 rated it liked it
We really enjoyed learning about this girl scientist! Even though the illustrations were a bit strange and the writing was a bit odd. It was especially weird how abruptly the death of Mary's father was handled.
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In a career spanning three decades, Laurence Anholt has produced over 200 children's books, which are published in more than 30 languages. Titles like the self-illustrated Anholt's Artists series have sold many millions of copies around the world. Laurence has also collaborated on numerous picture books with his wife, the artist, Catherine Anholt.

Laurence's first YA / Crossover novel THE HYPNOTIST