Sunday, January 24, 2021

MARY ANNING, FOSSIL GIRL, Discoverer of Ancient Giant Sea Reptiles

Mary Anning. Illustration by Laurie Caple for Giant Sea Reptiles of the Dinosaur Age by Caroline Arnold

Last night I watched the movie Ammonite, about Mary Anning, the woman who made remarkable fossil discoveries of ancient giant sea reptiles along the English coast near Lyme Regis in the early 1800s. I have long been fascinated by Mary Anning and wrote about her in my book GIANT SEA REPTILES OF THE DINOSAUR AGE. It is illustrated with beautiful watercolor paintings by Laurie Caple. (The book is out of print. You can look for it at your library.)

Although Mary Anning had little formal education, she had an uncanny knack for finding fossils and for understanding how the bones fit together. After excavating her specimens, she carefully reconstructed them and made detailed drawings. She collected fossils for many of the leading scientists of the day. Her work helped develop new ideas about what the world was like in prehistoric times.

Ammonites found at Lyme Regis

Many of Mary Anning's discoveries are on display at the British Museum of Natural History in London. Several years ago I visited the museum and was surprised to find a Mary Anning's look-alike sharing some of the fossils with museum visitors. It almost seemed like meeting Mary Anning herself! You can read about that visit in my post at The Intrepid Tourist.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021


Cards and giclee prints of illustrations from my Day and Night books are still available at my Etsy site: .
They are the perfect way to brighten up your walls or send a greeting to a friend!
A Day and Night in the Rain Forest
A Day and Night in the Forest
A Day and Night on the Prairie
A Day and Night in the Desert

Thursday, January 7, 2021

New Plan for My Travel Blog, THE INTREPID TOURIST

I have two blogs--this one, CAROLINE ARNOLD ART AND BOOKS, on which I post items related to my work as an author/illustrator, and THE INTREPID TOURIST, on which I post articles inspired by my own travel and sometimes about trips taken by friends and family.

Like most of you, my travel has been severely curtailed during the past year due to Covid 19. While I dream of future trips, THE INTREPID TOURIST will be reposting articles selected from the more than 500 weekly posts of the last decade. Each month will have a theme. The theme for January is Ancient and Prehistoric Worlds and the first post is from my trip to Chichen Itza in Mexico in 2013.

Happy virtual traveling!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020


As we look forward to a new year, I share with you fortune cookie message I got with my recent order of take-out food from a local Chinese restaurant.

"We must always have old memories and young hopes."



Monday, December 21, 2020


Window display at Alpine Village, Torrance, CA

On this shortest day of the year, Caroline Arnold Art and Books sends you best wishes for a


Wednesday, December 16, 2020


The Little Fur Family by Margaret Wise Brown

Perhaps my favorite book when I was a child was The Little Fur Family by Margaret Wise Brown. Mine had a real rabbit fur cover that could be slipped off and on into my small hands and was oh, so soft and silky. I loved the lilt of the story and heard it so often I had it practically memorized.

Books make the perfect holiday gift. Recently, as I was cleaning out my files I found a list that I made more than twenty years ago of some of my favorite children's books. While I have read many good books since then, these titles remain among my all-time favorites. Perhaps they will inspire a holiday gift for a child you know.

Stella Luna by Janelle Cannon
Ghost Wings by Barbara Joose
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers by Karen Winnick
Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney
The Ever-Living Tree by Linda Viera
Wump World by Bill Peet
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
The Little Fur Family by Margaret Wise Brown
The Wall by Eve Bunting

Wednesday, December 9, 2020


In response to my virtual author visit on November 17 at Cerritos Elementary School in Glendale, California, I recently received thank you notes from each classroom that I visited. I am so pleased to discover how teachers and students have adapted to using a virtual format and interested to see how each class did their thank you notes in a different way. Some created their cards on screen, while other students drew pictures on paper and then took a screen shot to record it. Other students wrote a class letter. I loved finding out which parts of my presentation the students liked the most.
Many, many thanks again to the ALG for providing this experience for both authors and students. And many, many thanks to the teachers who do such a great job helping their students learn, and to Principal Perla Chavez Fritz for all her support.

Read a report of the visit here: