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by Dick King-Smith & illustrated by Nick Bruel

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: March 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59643-324-3
Publisher: Roaring Brook

Replacing his usual stock of farm animals with an older, more primitive cast, King-Smith pits families of Pterodactyls and Apatosaurs against a predatory T. rex. After ignoring the species prejudice of their parents to strike up a friendship, leather-winged newborn Nosy and hulking Banty (short for “Bantamweight,” which she is when compared to her mother and father) come up with a daring plan to drive toothy Hack the Ripper out of the area. Their intellectually pretentious Moms and dimwitted Dads are initially reluctant but eventually agree to pitch in—and it all works out even better than expected. In Bruel’s frequent cartoon scenes and vignettes, the players display a supple solidity as they smile, scowl or look confused according to their assigned roles. The unusual setting and mild suspense of this celebration of interspecies cooperation will draw in recent easy-reader graduates. The addition of multi-syllabic dinosaur names and Latinate vocabulary words add extra appeal. (Fantasy. 8-10)