The live dinosaur that “future paleontologist” Frank Mudd helped to hatch in series opener A Mysterious Egg (2016) gets a companion in this helter-skelter sequel.
It seems that the Starks, renowned documentary filmmakers who have arrived at the Wyoming dig where Frank is summering, have a secret. “It’s a rapper,” their 5-year-old daughter, Mary, confides as she sneaks Frank into her parents’ trailer to meet Mike, a turkey-sized Velociraptor from (as Mary puts it) “All-Straw-La.” As if caring for Peanut, the frisky dino from the previous episode, while keeping it out of the public eye isn’t already hard enough! How will Mike and Peanut (a vegetarian) get along? Can the Starks be persuaded to give up their brightly feathered pet? McAnulty stirs a sudden tornado into her simply told tale for extra drama, and she closes with a disastrous incident that portends exposure in a future episode. Budding paleontologists like Frank will enjoy the dino facts that he threads through his narrative as well as the appended glossary. Though race is not indicated in the text, Boldt’s spot illustrations depict the Starks as African-American; Frank and his family are white.
The plot thickens in this easy-reading follow-up. (Science fantasy. 7-9)