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Stuck! The Story of the La Brea Tar Pits

40 pages
Bushel & Peck Books

A one-of-a-kind STEM gem! Join fellow science lovers in this creative non-fiction, poetical exploration surrounding the history, and little known origins, of the ice age and the La Brea Tar Pits—including what scientists are learning about climate change.

For tens of thousands of years, animals and plants fell into the natural trap of what we now call the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. Millions of fossils, from hundreds of species, have been collected in this one unique site. Follow author Joyce Uglow's lyrical lines and Valerya Milovanova’s evocative illustrations, guiding readers into an entire ecosystem of plants and animals—stuck!

Thousands of years ago…

Surrounded by sagebrush,

Mugwort, and water fleas,

Sloth searched:


Munching on grass and twigs,

Seeking water.

But stepped into sticky stuff instead.

Sloth struggled.




Sidebars include details such as how changes in the shape of the dire wolf’s skull and snout are tied to climate changes and that there are no dinosaurs among the fossils because they died out 63 million years ago.

An author’s note at the end provides additional historical and scientific details.

Author Bio

Joyce Uglow writes poetic stories on topics from bees, trees, and families to ancient cave art and fossils trapped in asphalt seeps. She's a forever cheerleader for Team Education. She currently serves as SCBWI Wisconsin Assistant Regional Advisor.