________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 3 . . . . September 29, 2006


Dinosaur Stakeout. (Dinosaur Adventure Series, #3).

Judith Silverthorne.
Regina, SK: Coteau Books, 2006.
192 pp., pbk., $8.95.
ISBN 1-55050-344-8.

Subject Headings:
Dinosaurs-Juvenile fiction.
Timetravel-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Pat Fay.

***½ /4


When they reached the edge of another smaller open area, Daniel stopped short. Dr. Roost almost bumped into him. Two creatures, each about the size of a full-length car, although they weren't much taller than Daniel, confronted one another. They reminded him of bighorn sheep with their enormous domed heads. Their skulls were bumpy and they had a ring of bony knobs at the base around the neck and towards the small eyes. Short, bony spikes protruded upwards from the back of their heads.

Suddenly, Daniel's mouth dropped open when he realized what he was seeing.

"Stygimoloch," he whispered.

Dr. Roost whispered back. "They look different from what I expected. They're even fiercer looking than any drawings, especially their heads."

The third book in the “Dinosaur Adventure Series” begins on opening day of the tourist dinosaur dig attraction that two Saskatchewan families have built as a way for them to retain their farms. Daniel Bringham, his family and his best friend, Jed Lindstrom, and his family, along with their paleontologist neighbour, Ole Pederson, started planning their tourist business after Ole found and almost complete Edmontosaurus skeleton on the border of their adjoining properties. Ole and Daniel named the skeleton "Roxanne." The tourist dig and campsite are quite popular, and an old friend of Ole's, Dr. Mildred Roost, comes to see what all the excitement is about.

     In the previous book, Dinosaur Hideout, Daniel discovered how to travel back in time to see dinosaurs, but he thought that was all behind him when he threw away the redwood bark (the catalyst for his time travel). However, while looking for something in his backpack, he finds a pinecone attached to the Velcro and knows he can go back again. He finally decides he must go back just to see if the dying Edmontosaurus female he encountered on his last trip is, in fact, "Roxanne."

     This time, he makes careful plans and assembles all of the things he will need to go and come back safely. He's planned for everything except Dr. Roost's determination to come along! She is much older, quite skeptical, and walks with a cane, and Daniel doubts she will be able to keep up. She refuses to let him go without her, so, holding hands and touching the pinecone, they are immediately transported back to prehistoric times. They begin their search for the dying dinosaur and along the way see many fantastic sights (large turtles, prehistoric birds, dinosaurs, crocodiles and plants), and have many scary encounters with snakes, strange plants and fierce, meat-eating dinosaurs. They make a successful return but leave the pinecone behind. Will they be able to return?

     This fast-paced, well-written novel will keep dinosaur enthusiasts reading long after bedtime. The chapters where Daniel and Dr. Roost return to prehistoric times are very descriptive and exciting. The characters are well developed, and the friendship and mutual respect that Daniel and Dr. Roost eventually display are excellent role models for relationships between generations.

     As in the previous books, Judith Silverthorne has included a section at the back to help readers with some of the terms used and details about some of the creatures mentioned in the book. There is also a useful pronunciation guide, other references and bibliography including URLs.

Highly Recommended.

Pat Fay is a teacher-librarian at Beaumont School in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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