Dinosaur Trouble: The Lava Melt Shake by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley, Scholastic NZ
Fans of Kyle and Donovan’s dinosaur stories will remember that the first book in this new four-book prequel series is called The Great Egg Stink. This second title doesn’t indicate that it’s part of a series, but that’s what the promotional material says. The series is written for transitional readers aged about five to seven, and should be useful with reluctant readers in those first years of school (especially boys).
With big print, simple sentences, an action-packed story, and extensive black and white cartoon-type illustrations, the story kicks off with a terrible situation – a volcano has erupted and a river of hot lava is threatening to engulf Arg’s village. Clever Arg is determined to come up with a solution but finds, like the warriors of the tribe, that there is little they can do to stop the lava. But a string of unintended actions involving a ticklish triceratops (and plenty of snot!) averts the flow and saves the village.
This book is going straight to my eight-year-old grandson who was very happy to receive and read the first book in the series.
ISBN 978 1 77543 367 5 $$8.99 Pb
Miniwings: Glitterwing’s Book Week Blunder by Sally Sutton, illus. Kirsten Richards, Scholastic
Miniwings: Whizz’s Internet Oopsie by Sally Sutton, illus. Kirsten Richards, Scholastic NZ
Congratulations to author, illustrator and publisher for this delicious new series for young readers (and I reckon I can safely say it’s intended for girls!). It’s a series of six little books about two sisters whose lives are complicated by their magical toys – six flying miniature horses. Sounds lovely – but these horses are VERY naughty!
In the first book the sisters need to come up with costumes for Book Week – but the Miniwings get into Mum’s makeup with disastrous results and Mum is so mad she refuses to take the girls to the craft shop or help with costumes. What can they do?
In the second book the Miniwings have a play on the computer and end up ordering a foot spa, a cordless drill and … a goat! Sophia and Clara have to take the goat to school to stop Mum and Dad finding out, whereupon chaos ensues in the classroom! Fortunately Nana (grandmother, not goat!) saves the day…
The design of the books is fabulous – coloured illustrations on just about every page (created in acrylic inks and finished in Photoshop), intriguing integration of text and artwork, appealing characters (both human and horse), attractive pastel colours, and of course, stars and sparkles everywhere.
I’m sure this series will be a big hit. It’s aimed at readers of seven years and up, but younger girls of five to seven will enjoy sharing it with an adult reader. Highly recommended.
ISBN 978 1 77543 423 8 $14.99 Pb
ISBN 978 1 77543 424 5 $14.99 Pb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman