Dinosaur Trouble

Dick King-Smith; Illustrated by Nick Bruel

Roaring Brook Press

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SOMETIMES THE MOST UNLIKELY PAIRS MAKE THE BEST OF FRIENDS.  A hilarious prehistoric yarn for newly-independent readers from a master of children's animal stories.

All pterodactyls know that flying dinosaurs are superior, and all apatosauruses know that any dinosaur with only two legs is surely second-class. Nosy, a pterodactyl, and Banty, an apatosaurus, become great friends even though their parents have forbidden them to play together. With Nosy’s fast flying and Banty’s smarts, the two take on the biggest predator on the Great Plain, and conquer their parents’ prejudices in one great adventure.

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Dinosaur Trouble
1 When he hatched from his egg, the first thing the baby saw was a huge face looking down at him. Above a long, toothless, beaked jaw, two large eyes stared into his as he struggled free of the egg. Once the baby was out, he could see that the creature had big leathery wings, stretching from its fingers to its knees, and that it had long, slender legs."Hello!" it said."Who are you?" asked the baby."Your mother," the creature replied. "Nice to see you. Let's go flying." And she spread her big leathery wings and took off.Could I do that? wondered the baby.

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Nosy, a newly hatched pterodactyl, emerges from his shell peppering his mother with questions. From her answers he quickly learns a number of big words about himself: nidifugous, pterodactyl, pulchritudinous, and nomenclature. And that’s just in the first four pages. His utter faith in his mother’s wisdom falters when he spies a young apatosaurus by the river, whom his mother dismisses as a “second-class creature.” (At the same time, the apatosaurus mother calls the pterodactyls “much inferior to us.”) Nosy seeks out the dino anyway, and the two eventually unite their families. Together they devise a plan to end the tyrannosaurus rex’s reign of terror and have more success than anticipated. Much of the book’s humor relies on wordplay and the juxtaposition of the clever mothers next to their dim-witted husbands. Frequent black-and-white cartoon illustrations, both inset and full page, enliven the text and add a light comic tone. Complex vocabulary and sentence structure make this book a good fit for advanced young readers or as a read-aloud. — Suzanne Harold
 
School Library Journal
Nosy is a young pterodactyl and Banty is a young apatosaurus. Both of their families are scornful of the other and try to instill their distain in their offspring. After all, pterodactyls are superior because they can fly. And apatosaurus are better because they have four legs and are herbivores. In spite of their parents’ objections and their obvious differences, the two young dinosaurs become friends and help unite their families in the face of a common foe–a T. rex named Hack the Ripper. The lessons about friendship, working together, and not prejudging others are not subtle, but the story is engaging and fun and readers will not mind the messages. Children are also likely to learn new words as Nosy’s mother speaks with a highly inflated vocabulary. “We are, after all aeronauts of remarkable facility and versatility.” Luckily, most of her words have to be explained/translated for the other dinosaurs. The black-and-white spot art captures the characters’ expressions and, with the exception of the T. rex, appears almost sweet. The story is a good choice for dinophiles who have moved beyond picture books and are ready for easy chapter books.–Kelly Roth, Bartow County Public Library, Cartersville, GA
 
Kirkus Reviews
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.

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About the Author

Dick King-Smith; Illustrated by Nick Bruel

Dick King-Smith (1922-2011) was the author of dozens of popular books for children, including Babe: The Gallant Pig and The Water Horse, both of which were adapted into major motion pictures. Born in Gloucestershire, England, King-Smith served in World War II, farmed for twenty years and, later, taught elementary school. The inspiration for many of his best-selling animal stories came from his farm and his animals.  Nick Bruel is the author and illustrator of New York Times bestseller Boing, Bad Kitty, Bad Kitty Gets a Bath and Bad Kitty Meets the Baby, among others. Nick is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist, and during his down time, he collects PEZ dispensers and grows tomatoes in the backyard. He lives in Tarrytown, NY with his wife Carina and their lovely cat Esmerelda.

Dick King-Smith
Nick Bruel

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Available Formats and Book Details

Dinosaur Trouble
Dick King-Smith; Illustrated by Nick Bruel

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Roaring Brook Press
March 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429998581
ISBN10: 142999858X
Middle-Grade Fiction128 pages, Black-and-white line art
Age Range: 7 to 10
Grade Range: 2 to 5
$7.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
Roaring Brook Press
March 2008
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781596433243
ISBN10: 1596433248
Middle-Grade Fiction
5 7/8 x 7 1/4 inches, 128 pages, Black-and-white line art
Age Range: 7 to 10
Grade Range: 2 to 5
$14.95

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Roaring Brook Press
October 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781596439351
ISBN10: 1596439351
Middle-Grade Fiction
5 7/8 x 7 1/4 inches, 128 pages, Black-and-white line art
Age Range: 7 to 10
Grade Range: 2 to 5
$14.99
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