Mary was born in 1799 in Lyme Regis, England, to a poor family. She and her older brother were the only two of ten children to survive. Her father, a carpenter and part-time fossil hunter, taught his children to look for fossils.
When her father injured himself and was unable to work, Mary quit school and took up fossil hunting full-time to help support her family, a task that became even more important when her father died, leaving the Annings in debt.
At the age of twelve, Mary, with her older brother Joe, found what they believed to be the skeleton of a gigantic crocodile, the Great Croc of the legends. Between dodging her rival fossil hunter, the Curiman, and the sheer work of carefully digging out the fossil, Mary took almost a year to excavate what would later be termed the Ichthyosaurus.
Mary Anning may have been uneducated, poor and a woman, but her life’s work of fossil hunting led her to make many discoveries that influenced our understanding of prehistoric creatures and the age of the Earth. In 2010, Mary was named among the ten British women who have most influenced the history of science. Charles Darwin even cited Mary’s fossilized creatures as evidence in his book On the Origin of Species.
In this triumphant novel about scientific discovery, Monica Kulling brings Mary Anning and her world to life for young readers.
Frances is the only member of her eccentric family who is not delighted when Papa decides they need an electric car. She would rather read a book. Frances knows that cars go fast, which can only lead to trouble. She is even less impressed when the family takes possession of the car and faces ridicule from more conventional citizens with their noisy, dirty, gas-fueled machines. But when Mr. Hamm is unable to get to the hospital because his car has run out of gas, Frances saves the day — and falls in love with automobile travel at the same time.
With humorous allusions to the twenty-first century — which is better? Gas or electric? — The Tweedles Go Electric is a charming picture book about an odd and endearing family and their attempts to keep up with the times.
Fresh from their adventure with their new electric car, Mama decides that the family needs a telephone to keep up with the changing times, and daughter Frances could not be more thrilled. But not all the Tweedles are convinced. Son Francis only has eyes for the family’s car, and Papa worries about the family’s privacy.
Once the phone is installed in the family’s home, they can hardly believe the noise it makes! But Frances takes a shine to the telephone immediately, and her enthusiasm for the new device threatens to keep the whole family up at night. Eventually Mama and Francis warm up to the telephone, too, and soon they can’t sit still long enough to play a family game of Crokinole. Will the Tweedles ever be able to go offline again?
This clever companion to The Tweedles Go Electric gently pokes fun at our modern addiction to technology, while further endearing readers to the sweetly odd Tweedles family.