Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World

Barnum Brown’s (1873-1963) parents named him after the circus icon P.T. Barnum, hoping that he would do something extraordinary – and he did. As a paleontologist for the American Museum of Natural History, he discovered the first documented skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, as well as most of the other dinosaurs on display there today.

Barnum’s Bones follows the fossil hunter around the globe as he searches for bones. Barnum found so many bones that some people believed Barnum was “able to smell fossils.” Barnum’s story also demonstrates the hard work that went into digging the fossils out of the dirt. In the end, Barnum realized his dream of discovering a new dinosaur species. “Just as his family had wanted, Barnum did something important and unusual: he discovered a sleeping dinosaur and brought it back to life. Sixty-six million years after extinction, T. Rex lives on in Barnum’s bones.”

Told with humor, Barnum’s Bones is a fascinating story that details how one man did “important and unusual things.” Each page of the picture book has large, detailed illustrations that add humor to the book. For example, in one picture, an iguana is looking at a newspaper story about a stegosaurus. While the story is entertaining enough to keep young readers engaged, the illustrations are so full of fun details that readers will want to take their time studying them. The amazed expression of a horse, Barnum’s bedroom overflowing with fossils, and the giant skull of a dinosaur are included in the illustrations.

Even though Barnum’s Bones is a picture book, the story is intended to be read aloud to a child, rather than for the child to read it for the first time independently. Most of the pages are text heavy and younger readers may become squirmy before the end of the book. However, anyone who is interested in dinosaurs and paleontology must read Barnum’s Bones because it is both informative and interesting. Plus, Barnum’s story shows how one man’s dedication allowed him to live his dream and discover new dinosaurs.

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The Secret Explorers and the Jurassic Rescue

Traveling back millions of years in the past, The Secret Explorers must rescue a precious dinosaur egg. In their quest, Tamiko and Cheng attempt to fend off angry Allosauruses, but what will they do when the egg starts to hatch?

In The Jurassic Rescue, dinosaur expert Tamiko and geology expert Cheng team up to save a dinosaur egg. The two kids go on a fast-paced adventure where they must avoid becoming a dinosaur’s snack. The two must hide from a group of Allosauruses and at one point they even cover themselves in poop in order to hide their smell! Tamiko and Cheng use a combination of knowledge and teamwork to save an archaeopteryx.

Young readers will enjoy the story that is packed with plenty of dinosaur facts, suspense, and a happy ending that unites a newborn dinosaur with its mother. The story highlights the importance of one Archaeopteryx. Tamiko explains that the Archaeopteryx “can thrive, and have more babies. And those babies will have babies, and THOSE babies will have babies for a thousand generations—and that plays a part in the whole evolution of modern birds!”

The Jurassic Rescue has large black and white illustrations that break up the text and help readers understand the plot. Characters’ thoughts are easy to distinguish because they are in bold text. While younger readers may struggle with some of the difficult vocabulary and the length of the book, the book’s educational value makes it worth parents’ time to read The Jurassic Rescue aloud to their children. The book ends with 11 pages of a dinosaur timeline, glossary, and quiz.

Full of suspense and snapping dinosaurs, The Jurassic Rescue teaches about the Jurassic period in a fun and educational way. The Jurassic Rescue will entertain readers with the storyline and please parents with the educational value. Readers will be eager to read the next book in the series, The Secret Explorers and the Rainforest Rangers. Dinosaur-loving readers can also get more suspense-filled dinosaur action by reading the Dino Rider Series by Will Dare.

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Violence

  • When Tamiko and Cheng are transported to the Jurassic time period, a “creature bumped into the side of the Beagle, and it rocked again. . . The Plesiosaur lifted its head from the water. Tamiko caught a flash of teeth in a huge, yawning mouth.” The two kids drive away.
  • The two kids watch eight Allosauruses “prowling toward the Stegosaurus herd. . . An Allosaurus darted in and nipped at the mother Stegosaurus. With surprising speed, the Stegosaurus’s spiky tail thrashed down. One of the spikes caught the Allosaurus on the rump. It yelped with pain and quickly backed away.”
  • An Allosaurus “snapped its jaws at the Archaeopteryx. The Archaeopteryx shrieked and took off, gliding away through the trees.” The Archaeopteryx leaves its egg behind.
  • A Pterosaur tries to bite the kids. “The large predator swooped down from the branch and dive-bombed the cave mouth, snapping its long beak. Tamiko felt the brush of a leathery wingtip against her leg as she scrambled back into the cave.”

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Supernatural

  • The Secret Explorers can travel through time. Tamiko goes to a fossil shop and “opened the shop door. But instead of the usual glass cases full of crystals and fossils, Tamiko walked into a dazzling white light. A strong wind whipped her short black hair around her head. She felt as if she were flying—and then the light faded.” Tamiko is magically transported to the Exploration Station.
  • The Exploration Station picks two Secret explorers for each mission. When the kids’ badges “lit up” they knew they were chosen to go on the mission.
  • The Beagle can change into different types of transportation and magically takes its occupants to where they need to go.
  • When Tamiko starts the Beagle, “the steering wheel transformed beneath Tamiko’s hands into a sturdy set of handlebars, and the old seats became deep and comfortable.”
  • When the mission is over, all of the kids return to the exact location that they left. “There was a flash of light, and a jolt. Tamiko thrust out her hand to steady herself in the fierce blast of wind.” Tamiko is returned to the fossil shop.

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The Dinosaur Expert

Mr. Tiffin and his students are back in another picture book; this time the focus is on dinosaur-loving Kimmy. During a field trip to the natural history museum, Kimmy is thrilled to share what she knows about the Stegosaurus, the Archaeopteryx, and even the ginormous Titanosaurus. But that all changes when one of her classmates questions whether girls can be paleontologists, and Kimmy starts to feel shy. What if girls can’t be paleontologists? What if no one wants to hear what she has to say? It will take some help from Mr. Tiffin—and from a famous scientist—for Kimmy to find her voice again.

The Dinosaur Expert has many positive aspects, including Mr. Tiffin, who encourages Kimmy to share her dinosaur knowledge. Mr. Tiffin shows her an exhibit of Dr. Brandoni de Gasparini’s hunting fossils. Seeing a woman paleontologist gives Kimmy the courage to tell her classmates about dinosaurs. The end of the book includes a short biography of seven of Kimmy’s favorite women paleontologists.

Every dinosaur-loving kid should read The Dinosaur Expert, which has many fascinating facts as well as detailed illustrations of dinosaurs. Readers will enjoy seeing Kimmy’s character grow from a timid girl who doesn’t want to talk, to a confident girl who shares her knowledge.

Each page has large illustrations that show a diverse group of children. Almost every page shows an illustration of a dinosaur as well as many dinosaur facts. Each page has 1 to 5 sentences. However, readers will need help with some of the dinosaur names and advanced vocabulary.

Young readers will enjoy going on a field trip with Mr. Tiffin’s class and will relate to Kimmy’s fear of speaking up. The story blends Kimmy’s conflict and dinosaur facts, which will keep readers interested in the story. Plus, girls will love seeing real women scientists who have made contributions to the study of dinosaurs. One of the best parts of The Dinosaur Expert is that it shows that anyone can become a scientist. Readers who can’t get enough of dinosaurs should add The Dino Files Series by Stacy McAnulty to their reading list.

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Don’t Disturb the Dinosaurs

Dr. Bunsen has undone it again when his time machine mistakenly beams the Data Set—Gabe, Laura, and Cesar—back to the prehistoric era. Before they can say, “Look out!”, Gabe, Laura, and Cesar find themselves dashing from flying pterosaurs, stegosaurus stampedes, and an Allosaurus on the hunt for an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Despite the dangers, the Data Set are determined to help a special friend while exploring ancient earth where dinosaurs roam the earth.

Don’t Disturb the Dinosaurs is an action-packed story that teaches facts about dinosaurs without overwhelming the reader with information. The Data Set works together to find a new home for Stego, who used to be a plastic toy. Readers will admire the friends’ willingness to go up against a hungry Allosaurus in order to help Stego. The diverse characters work together to fight danger. However, all of the danger is kid-friendly and won’t leave readers with nightmares.

The dinosaur danger comes to life through black and white illustrations that help create the story’s suspense. In addition, the large illustrations will help readers visualize the story’s events. With illustrations that appear on every page, large text, and easy vocabulary, Don’t Disturb the Dinosaurs is an excellent book for beginning readers.

Readers will enjoy reading about Gabe, Laura, and Cesar as they try to stay alive in Prehistoric times. Another lovable character, Dr. Bunsen, adds a little humor to the story. Even though Don’t Disturb the Dinosaurs is a part of a series, the books do not need to be read in order. The Data Set Series is a fun, imaginative series that also teaches readers. If your little reader can’t get enough of dinosaurs, they should add The Dino Files Series by Stacy McAnulty to their must-read list.

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  • A giant Pterosaur takes the baby dinosaur, Stego. “The giant Pterosaur from earlier suddenly swooped down, snatched up Stego, and flew off!”
  • An Allosaurus tries to snack on the kids, who climb a tree to safety. The Allosaurus “chomped widely, barely missing Cesar’s sneaker. . . The Allosaurus roared and banged against the tree trunk.” Eventually the Allosaurus leaves “in search of an easier meal.”
  • When the Pterosaur sees the kids with Stego, she tries to attack them. “Suddenly, Stego moved between the friends and the angry creature.” The Pterosaur gets distracted when its egg begins to hatch.
  • An Allosaurus tries to get the kids again. Cesar “grabbed a fiery stick from the pit and waved it at the dinosaur. . .A spark jumped and struck the Allosaurus on the nose! Scorched, the dinosaur howled.” The dinosaur runs away.

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Supernatural

  • Dr. Bunsen’s “growth ray accidentally brought our toy animals to life. Then they started growing. And we had to sneak them into the zoo.” However, the dinosaur needs to be taken back in time to find a home.

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Danny and the Dinosaur in the Big City

Danny’s class is going on a field trip to the big city, and the dinosaur is invited too! Towering skyscrapers! Rumbling subways! The city is a big and exciting place. Even though the city is big, the dinosaur may find fitting in to be a bit of a challenge.

Young readers will fall in love with Danny and his dinosaur as they explore New York. From watching a musical to exploring the Statue of Liberty, Danny and his dinosaur enjoy the sights and sounds of the famous city.

Syd Hoff created Danny and his prehistoric pal in 1958, but today’s readers will love the duo. Full-page pictures will introduce readers to city life and give readers an idea of how large a dinosaur would stand. The story’s simple plot and brightly colored pictures will encourage beginning readers to keep flipping pages until the very end.

Danny and the Dinosaur in the Big City contains sight words and will allow children to sound out words and sentences. The short sentences and simple plot are best suited for younger readers. Readers will smile when Danny’s dinosaur tries to join the theater’s dancers and when he swims to the Statue of Liberty. Readers will love the adorable dinosaur and his curious nature. Danny and the Dinosaur in the Big City will introduce readers to the joy of reading and may even spark their interest in New York City and the Statue of Liberty.

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Dodging Dinosaurs

Get ready for Chase and Ava’s newest adventure! When they touch a dinosaur egg inside their magical suitcase, Chase and Ava jump back to prehistoric times. They’ll need to work to return the egg to its rightful nesting place before they become dinosaur dinner. How will they find the right nest to put the dinosaur egg in? Will they run into the bad guy, Randall, who keeps following them?

Siblings Chase and Ava jump back into the dinosaur age. As they search for the right nest to place the egg, the two befriend a baby dinosaur as well as run from giant stinging bugs. The story contains some interesting dinosaur facts and begins to answer the mystery of the suitcase. Even though the storyline is not completely believable, readers will enjoy the non-stop action, mystery, and dinosaur facts.

Dodging Dinosaurs is part of Scholastic’s Branches early chapter books, which have easy-to-read text and illustrations on every page. The story uses short descriptions and dialogue to keep the story moving at a fast pace. Black and white illustrations appear on every page and help break up the text into manageable sections. Dodging Dinosaurs introduces several characters that appeared in previous books, which requires the Time Jumpers series to be read in order.

In Dodging Dinosaurs, the villain Randall jumps in to save the kids. Randall tells the kids, “As of right now, I officially quit stealing things from history. The Collector isn’t going to like it.” Even though Dodging Dinosaurs solves one mystery, readers will be eager to discover who the Collector is and why he wants historical artifacts. Dodging Dinosaurs focuses on a positive sibling relationship and will entertain readers who are ready for chapter books.

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Supernatural

  • Chase and Ava are time jumpers. When they go back in time, they meet another man from their time period. Chase tells the man, “You’re definitely a time jumper. You could open the suitcase, which regular people can’t. You traveled when you touched one of the objects inside. And you remember both timelines—the one where the brontosaurus was in the museum, and the one where it wasn’t. We’re pretty sure only time jumpers can do those things.”

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Boo’s Dinosaur

When Boo brings home a dinosaur that only she can see, her brother Sammy doesn’t want to encourage her antics. Boo and her dinosaur are inseparable until Boo says goodbye to the dinosaur quite suddenly.

When Sammy sees how sad his sister is, he understands Boo’s need for her dinosaur more than he wants to admit. So much that he almost believes it . . . almost.

Boo’s Dinosaur focuses on Boo and her imaginary friend. The simple story portrays Boo’s family in a positive light, and Boo’s brother Sammy demonstrates patience. The cute story has a simple plot that is easy to understand. However, none of the characters or situations are memorable.

Beginning readers looking for early chapter books will find Boo’s Dinosaur a good bridge between picture books and chapter books. The story has eight or fewer sentences on each page. With six short chapters and easy-to-read vocabulary, beginning readers will be able to read the book independently. Black and white illustrations appear on every page, which breaks up the text as well as shows Boo with her dinosaur. The adorable illustrations bring Boo’s imagination to life and will help readers understand the plot.

Dinosaur-loving readers who are ready for more advanced chapter books and want more adventure should try The Dino Files Series by Stacy McAnulty and the Dino Rider Series by Will Dare.

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Boo’s Surprise

Boo is excited to receive a giant egg—and to find out what’s inside! Her brother, Sammy, is not, but he is still willing to help her after the egg hatches into a lovable baby dinosaur. Is it all Boo’s imagination or not? The youngest chapter book reader will want to find out in this wonderfully imaginative sequel to Boo’s Dinosaur.

 Boo’s Surprise focuses on Boo and her growing dinosaur. The simple story portrays Boo’s family in a positive light, and Boo’s brother Sammy demonstrates patience. When Boo raids Sammy’s games, he is clearly annoyed, but he still takes the time to help Boo clean up the mess. The cute story has a simple plot that is easy to understand. However, none of the characters or situations are memorable.

Beginning readers looking for early chapter books will find Boo’s Dinosaur a good bridge between picture books and chapter books. The story has eight or fewer sentences on each page. With seven short chapters and easy-to-read vocabulary, beginning readers will able to read the book independently. Black and white illustrations appear on every page, which breaks up the text as well as shows Boo with her dinosaur. Readers will enjoy seeing a dinosaur dressed up like a cowboy and jumping rope. The conclusion leaves the reader wondering if Boo’s dinosaur was imaginary or real.

Although Boo’s Surprise is the second book about Boo and her dinosaur, readers do not have to read the first book to appreciate Boo’s Surprise. Readers who are interested in a more advanced chapter book may want to try the outrageously silly story Dinosaur Disaster by David Lubar.

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Monsters on the Run

Vanessa, the Loch Ness monster, doesn’t like being alone. In the lake where she lives, everyone seems to have another friend just like them—the turtles, the fish, the frogs, and even the seaweed. Vanessa wants a friend just like her. When Vanessa calls on Blizz Richards, he’s willing to help out. His team travels 65 million years into the past to find another sea monster. But when they get there, they realize there are other jagged-toothed creatures that want to snap them up.

Monsters on the Run has a variety of interesting characters including a bigfoot, goblins, leprechauns, arctic foxes, and more. All of the creatures work together to help Vanessa find a friend that looks like her. The story is a bit random and jumps from topic to topic, but is still enjoyable.

Each page has black and white illustrations with googly-eyed monsters and cartoonish dinosaur predators. Most pages have one to two sentences, while a few pages have up to six sentences. This is a fast-paced, silly story that will engage readers who are just beginning to pick up chapter books.

Sexual Content

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Violence

  • After someone accidentally sits on a dinosaur’s tail, the dinosaur chases him.
  • While swimming, a predator tries to eat Nessie.

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Supernatural

  • To time travel, a leprechaun takes “strands of the rainbow and separates them, picking out two colors to combine.”

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Knights vs. Dinosaurs

For the Knights of Camelot, peace has brought boredom. They don’t have much to do, and most have never seen a dragon. During the knightly feast, the knights begin to boast about their heroic deeds. When Sir Erec boasts that he slew forty dragons on his last quest, Merlin decides to teach the knights a lesson and sends them on an adventure.

Four knights and one squire enter a cave and come out during another time. Suddenly, they are surrounded by the most terrible lizards of all: dinosaurs. Will the knights be able to survive the snapping jaws of these gigantic lizards?

Fast-paced, funny, and full of surprises, Knights vs. Dinosaurs blends graphic-style illustrations with a unique adventure. Black-and-white illustrations are scattered throughout the story, and several of the graphic-novel style battles appear over multiple pages. As each knight goes off alone, they encounter different terrible lizards. Seeing each knight’s perception of the different dinosaurs adds interest and humor to the story.

The knights engage in battle after battle, but the story still develops each knight’s unique personality. Sir Hector clearly loves books. Sir Bors believes that, “Might makes right.” The Black Knight is silent and skilled. The characters don’t only clash with the dinosaurs, they also clash with each other. In the end, the knights’ adventures teach them the dangers of boasting and the necessity of working together. The knights discover that each one of them has a specific talent and they need to take advantage of each person’s strengths and work together in order to survive.

For those who like knights, dinosaurs, and battles, Knights vs. Dinosaurs has an entertaining, engaging story that will keep readers turning the page. Younger readers may find some of the vocabulary difficult. In order to create the same feel as medieval times, difficult words such as lummox, smote, peruse, and inscrutable are used. This is the perfect book for reluctant readers who want to fall into a fabulously funny story.

Sexual Content

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Violence

  • When the knights leave the cave, a dinosaur “snatched him up in its mighty jaws. The beast lifted Bors twenty feet off the ground and shook him like a puppy’s chew toy. Fortunately, Bors’s armor held.” When the Black Knight enters the fight, “a broadsword to the lower leg made the creature toss Bors aside.”
  • The knights see a group of dinosaurs and the “attacking cows” stampede. “Erec was knocked aside. Bors tripped over Erec’s leg. His sword flew straight up, then came back down. Bors, eyes bulging, shifted just as the sword struck the ground an inch from his chest.” The knights retreat.
  • When two of the knights begin arguing, another knight tries to break up the argument but “was kicked in the shin for his effort. So he kicked back instead. They pushed. They slapped. They fell over. It was clanging and awkward.”
  • When Erec sees a dinosaur, he charges it with his lance. “The creature charged. Erec charged. His lance hit the creature directly between the eyes. The beast grunted, veering off to the side.” The battle is described in words and pictures over four pages. At one point, the creature “scooped him off the ground. It shook him once, twice, three times, then tossed him aside like a twig.”
  • One of the knights sees a group of dinosaurs that look like chickens. He assumes they are friendly, but one of them “locked its little jaws around Hector’s finger, clamping down hard with a row of tiny razor-sharp teeth.” Hector hits the dinosaurs with a book, but then “even more appeared. . . Hector tripped and was instantly set upon by the tiny, vicious cuties. They scratched, nibbled and pecked at the noble knight.”
  • A knight sees a dinosaur, and the two “squared off. They burst into action at the same moment, bludgeoning and punching, biting and kicking.” The two fight until a bigger, fighting dinosaur appears. Both the knight and the dinosaur run into the woods.
  • The knights take a swim in a lake. Suddenly, “The lake erupted beneath them as an enormous serpent broke the surface . . . the serpent dived for Erec.” The knights battle the serpent over the course of five pages. One of the knights throws a rock, and “it sailed straight to Magdelena’s hand, and in one smooth movement she brought it down on the serpent’s head. The creature ceased its struggle instantly and sank below the surface, down to the depths.”
  • A flying lizard grabs a knight and takes her to its nest. The knight almost becomes food for a newborn dinosaur.
  • The knights work together to fight a T-Rex. “Erec was the first to find himself lifted several feet off the ground. His armor kept the teeth from puncturing his vital organs, but the pressure of the monster’s bite was tremendous . . .” The battle is described in words and in pictures over ten pages. In the end, Sir Bors “brought his sword down on the monster’s foot . . .He swung one powerful fist in a precisely placed uppercut. The punch connected. The terrible lizard’s eyes crossed . . .” The dinosaur topples over and the knights escape. To prove that they battled the dinosaur, a knight “grabbed a single tooth and pulled and pulled and tore it right out of the king’s gum. It opened its mouth in a roar of pain.”

Drugs and Alcohol

  • The Black Knight takes off her helmet for the first time, and “wine was spit out in surprise.”

Language

  • Occasionally the knights call each other names including “dunderhead” and “oaf.” One knight is called a “bookworm.”

Supernatural

  • When Merlin sends the knights on a quest, they enter a cave and are magically transported into another time period.
  • Some believe that Merlin has an enchanted owl that writes and draws. Two knights argue about if an owl can write. One replies, “Merlin enchanted us to this wretched place. I should think he could manage to teach an owl to draw.” The ending of the book shows the owl working on a book.

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How to Rope a Giganotosaurus

Josh admires the legendary dino wrangler Terrordactyl Bill, who just captured a T. rex. Josh knows that he can be the next great dinosaur cowboy. In order to be like Terrordactyl Bill, Josh wants to capture his own giant dinosaur. Finding a T. rex can’t be done, but Josh, with the help of his friends, can nab a giganotosaurus. With a little bit of luck and a whole lot of rope, can Josh prove he has what it takes to be the best dino rider in The Lost Plains?

Whether reading this as part of the series or reading the story as a stand-alone, How to Rope a Giganotosaurus will engage younger readers with an easy-to-read story and fun illustrations. The second installment of the Dino Riders series will captivate readers because of Josh’s friendships, his daring spirit, and his desire to be great. Similar to the first book in the series, the story has several scenes that contain dino dung and dino slobber. Josh and his friends even cover themselves in dino dung and dino feathers. Although the bully is a bit stereotypical and the conclusion is far-fetched, that doesn’t take away from the book’s enjoyment. Anyone who enjoys adventure and dinosaurs will find How to Rope a Giganotosaurus fun to read.

Sexual Content

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Violence

  • Josh and his friends try to capture a giganotosaurus, but the snare they build does not hold. The dino charges the kids and chases Josh. “He could feel the breath of the giant on his back as he powered towards the edge of the rocky outcrop. His heart pounded. His stomach went tight.” As the dino chases Josh, it falls into a swamp and dies. “A spray of stinking swamp water was thrown high into the air over Josh’s head.”

Drugs and Alcohol

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Language

  • A bully calls Josh a “little dweeb.” Later the bully says that Josh and his friends look like “idiots.”

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Dino-Mike and The Dinosaur Doomsday

When Dino-Mike’s father goes on an expedition to Antarctica, Dino-Mike doesn’t expect much to happen. But when the Bones siblings unexpectedly arrive, they bring danger with them. The Bones siblings wake up a Doomsday Dinosaur who could easily crush Dino-Mike, Shannon, and Jurassic Jeff.  The three think that the Doomsday Dinosaur is their worst nightmare, but there is more danger lurking beneath the Antarctic ice.

Dino-Mike and The Dinosaur Doomsday is an action-packed story that has Dino-Mike and his friends battling both the Bones siblings and ancient dinosaurs that come to life. Although the majority of the story is fictional, the story contains some facts about Antarctica and the dinosaurs that roamed. However, readers should not pick up the Dino-Mike series if their sole intention is to learn factual information about dinosaurs.

The series will appeal to younger readers because it is written with imagination and action. Scattered throughout the text are onomatopoeias that help create suspense. The story is easy to read and is a good series to pick up to interest beginning readers. Although Dino-Mike and the Dinosaur Doomsday is the seventh book in the series, the plot can be understood without reading the previous books.

Sexual Content

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Violence

  • The Bones siblings cause an avalanche that “poured down on the base, covering it completely.” Dino-Mike’s father is trapped inside.
  • The Bones siblings wake up a Doomsday Dinosaur that breaks through the ice. “The ground beneath their feet opens up. CRUNNNCH! A geyser of ice thrust them thirty feet into the air.” Shannon almost falls into the crack in the ice, but Dino-Mike is able to save her.
  • The Bones siblings wake up burrowing dinosaurs that attack a group of people. “Jeff leaped backward just as one of the burrowing dinos burst through the ice, snapping its jaws. It was a narrow miss!” Dino-Mike is able to anticipate where the dinosaurs will pop out of the ice and keep the group safe.
  • A giant water dinosaur “chomped down on Dino-Mike” and “leaped into the air, and then arched its long body and dove back toward the water below.” The dinosaur tries to eat Dino-Mike, but he gets stuck in the dino’s throat and is sneezed out.

Drugs and Alcohol

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Supernatural

  • The Bones siblings have a device that allows them to wake-up dinosaur fossils and control the dinosaurs. They also have a controller that allows them to open an “interdimensional portal.”

Spiritual Content

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Dino-Mike and the Lunar Showdown

After being defeated before, Mr. Bones is on the run, but Mike and Shannon are determined to find him, even when the search takes them to the moon. The friends are determined to stop Mr. Bones from creating more dinosaurs. However, when Mr. Bones finds a way to control the dinosaurs, Mike and Shannon must come up with a creative way to protect themselves.

Dino-Mike the Lunar Showdown is full of fun illustrations, a jacket with surprising gadgets, dinosaurs in space suits, and an evil villain. Written with imagination and action, Dino-Mike has young characters who bravely face evil and care about the well being of dinosaurs. This is not the book to pick up if you want factual information about dinosaurs. The story is easy to read and is a good series to pick up to interest beginning readers.

Sexual Content

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Violence

  • A dinosaur tries to eat Shannon but Dino-Mike is able to trap it.
  • An ankylosaurus tries to strike the kids with his tale. With the help of his Dino jacket, Dino-Mike grabs the ankylosaurus’s tale and takes him into the air. “He released the claw, and the ankylosaurus smashed back to the lunar surface with a thud.”
  • Mr. Bones tries to capture the kids by having a giant bird and other dinosaurs attack them. Dino-Mike uses his jacket and the kids are able to defeat Mr. Bones.

Drugs and Alcohol

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How to Tame a Triceratops

Josh dreams of being just like Terrordactyl Bill, the great dino rider who protects the Lost Plains from fearsome dinosaurs and criminals. Josh’s life isn’t as exciting as his dreams. Instead of bucking brontosauruses, Josh works on his family’s iguanodon ranch. His dino Plodder is a tired dinosaur who moves too slowly.

When Josh hears that Terrordactyl Bill is going to present the award at the annual settlement race, Josh is determined to win the race and meet his hero. Then a sneaky man tricks Josh into trading for an untamed triceratops. Is there any way Josh can tame the triceratops and win the race?

The first installment of the Dino Riders series brings a world with dinosaurs to life with just the right amount of imagery for younger readers. The black and white illustrations help the reader visualize the characters and the action of the story. Josh’s doodles also add to the interest of the story. The action-packed story is fast-paced and downright fun to read.

Readers will be able to relate to Josh’s inability to concentrate in school, his desire to prove his worth as a dino rider, and his conflict with his parents. Although the bully is a bit stereotypical and the conclusion is predictable, that doesn’t take away from the book’s enjoyment. The story does contain body humor, which some parents may not like. Many of the story’s aspects are farfetched, such as when people ride dinosaurs to town to do their shopping and when a dinosaur kicks Josh in the stomach, but he is uninjured. Anyone who enjoys adventure and dinosaurs will find How to Tame a Triceratops fun to read.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • An iguanodon is “about to smash into Josh’s front porch” and had to be stopped. Josh saves the house, but the iguanodon “kicked up its hind legs and launched Josh of its back like a cannonball . . . he hurtled through the air. With a soggy schlopp, he landed headfirst in a pile of dino dung.”
  • A pterodactyl attacks a barn that has baby iguanodons in it. Josh’s dino “Plodder reared up in fright, throwing Josh off his back. Josh hit the ground hard, knocking the wind from him.” Another dinosaur chases the pterodactyl.  “Charge reared up onto his hind legs, stabbing at the sky with his horns. . . The pterodactyl gave an angry squawk, then flew straight up into the clouds.”
  • During a race, another rider has his dino “deliberately sending Clubber’s huge spiky tail smashing into Charger.” Josh and Charger smash into a T. rex’s skeleton and are trapped.

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • Several times in the story, someone calls Sam a “loser.”

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

 

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