I recently spoke with Julia Lyon about her awesome nonfiction picturebook A DINOSAUR NAMED RUTH. (Illustrated by Alexandra Bye)
Check it out.
Stripes or polka dots?
Definitely polka dots! You should see my high school homecoming dress.
Sunrise or sunset?
Sunset! I’m not a big fan of getting up early.
What brings you joy?
Singing and dancing with my kids. Sometimes to Taylor Swift!
Do you have a phrase that you’re constantly saying?
Wash your hands!
Now, let’s talk about A DINOSAUR NAMED RUTH. Ruth Mason is such an inspiring woman. Can you tell us a bit about her?
She was a pioneer girl in South Dakota who lived during a time of great change in that part of the country. While it might seem obvious to us now in 2022 that there were dinosaur fossils scattered across the west, people’s knowledge of dinosaurs was much more limited during Ruth’s childhood. Also, families like hers were focused on surviving — not digging up old bones. She had the insight that these seemingly unremarkable, broken bones might have great importance.
Ruth made such amazing discoveries at a young age. What would you say to children who feel they might be too young to accomplish something?
Never give up! Maybe you’ll discover something now that will help you discover something even bigger later. Learning is a process. Start small and see where it takes you.
I think Ruth really shows us how important curiosity and exploration can be. In what ways can kids use their curiosity to explore the world of dinosaurs?
Well, of course, I have to suggest that kids start with their local library. There are so many excellent, nonfiction books on dinosaurs. Just ask your librarian to help you find one. Then there’s the many natural history museums all over the country. I’d guess that every state has at least one. Utah, where I live, has many. Ask your parents to take you so you can see some fossil bones for yourself!