Friday, June 27, 2008

Kid Lit as a Travel Guide

The hubby and I went to Chicago earlier this week. When we discussed our travel plans, DH asked me if there was anywhere special I wanted to go. I quickly answered, “Yes! I want to see Sue.”

Sue is not a person. She is the largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered. Visitors to the Field Museum in Chicago can see Sue in the main entrance hall. I read about Sue in the picture book, The Field Mouse and the Dinosaur Named Sue by Jan Wahl several years ago. Since then, I have wanted to go to Chicago to see the giant skeleton.

Sue is named after Sue Hendrickson, the fossil hunter who discovered the skeleton in Faith, South Dakota in 1990. The skeleton was purchased at auction by the Field Museum for $8.3 million. Wow!

Sue’s 600-pound head is in a separate case on a balcony overlooking the skeleton since its weight prevents it from being supported with the display. A 200-pound replica of her head was made and mounted with the rest of her skeleton.

Who needs a travel guide when children’s books are available?


Trish Milburn said...

Hey, hubby and I saw Sue a couple of years ago when we were in Chicago. I loved the Field Museum, particularly the Native American exhibits. So much more extensive that other museums I've been to. They went beyond the Plains tribes that most museums like to focus on.

Had fun at lunch today.

Shauna Roberts said...

A six-hundred pound head, even without the flesh. Bet Sue got a lot of headaches.

There's a small museum in a tiny town called Hemet that has a mammoth and a mastodon skeleton set up. Very intimidating to see those skeletons towering over one. Sue must have been several times as big as them.

Rae Ann Parker said...

Trish, thanks, I always enjoying talking books & writing.

Shauna, I am fascinated with the dinosaur skeletons, but glad I never met a live one in person!

Farrah Rochon said...

Great post! :)

I saw Sue when I went to Chicago a couple of years ago. I love museums. Just last week I spend nearly four hours in the Museum of Natural History in New York, and got through, eh, maybe 1/3 of the exhibits?

Can't wait to see you in SF!

Stephen Parrish said...

I grew up near Chicago. You're making me homesick.

Rae Ann Parker said...

STEPHEN: What a great hometown. If I lived in Chicago, I would definitely visit the Field Museum on a regular basis.