I’ve had cause to feature trilobites in a couple of recent reviews, so I figure it’s high time I feature a book about them for those curious to learn more! Trilobites (named for the three lengthwise lobes of their body) are classic staples of rock shops and souvenir stands around the world, and are probably my favorite bugs of all, past or present. “Trilobite” is certainly among my favorite Ratfish Wrangler songs, anyway!
Today’s book, simply titled Trilobites, is an early reader book written by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Neesa Becker. It’s very short, clocking in at only twelve pages with a few sentences per page. Schaefer keeps the writing at a very approachable, simple level for her intended audience. This makes it easy for kids to read on their own, or for parents to read aloud to them. (I should know: my 1.5 year old has recently developed an interested in bugs, all of which he refers to as “bees”, and has asked me to read this to him multiple times recently!) That being said, I felt Schaefer glossed over things just a tad more than she needed to. It would have been nice to see an explanation of the name “trilobite”, for example, and the text makes it sound as though all trilobites lived in one specific sea, rather than just “the sea” in general.
Becker’s illustrations are pleasant enough. She has a sort of loose style that leaves me uncertain as to whether she intended to represent any particular species in her illustrations, though she clearly meant to show that trilobites had a diverse array of shapes and forms.
To be perfectly honest, there’s not a whole lot to recommend about this book other than the fact that it’s one of the surprisingly few kids books I could find that exclusively covers these otherwise popular fossil organisms. I got it because it felt like it plugged a bit of a gap in my book collection, and at $6 it’s hard to go wrong. As I mentioned before, my little ones do enjoy reading it, and it’s hardly a chore to read this short little book to them. I don’t know that I necessarily recommend it, but if you’ve got youngsters on the cusp of reading themselves, and they find themselves interested in these little critters, then it can’t hurt to get yourself a copy of Trilobites!