Dino Riders #5: How to Track a Pterodactyl – Will Dare

Illustrations – Mariano Epelbaum

It’s the wild west with dinosaurs! What’s not to love?!

I enjoyed reading this book so much that I’ve just finished it for the second time. With adventure, action, humour, potential danger, friends and foes, and a childhood hero in the mix, this was always going to be a fun read. Once you add the dinosaurs and cowboys you’ve got yourself a book that I imagine would pique the interest of even the most reluctant of readers.

Summer is almost over and Josh is meeting his friends Sam and Abi at the annual Trihorn County Funfair for some fun before they go camping. The trio are watching when a group of pterodactyls arrive and carry Josh’s hero and “the fastest, meanest, and bravest dino rider the Lost Plains had ever seen”, Terrordactyl Bill, away. It’s up to Josh, Sam and Abi to save T-Bill! They’re joined by Josh’s nemesis, Amos, and Amos’ sidekick, Arthur. I loved that everyone, even the kids, ride on the backs of dinosaurs and especially liked Josh’s triceratops, Charge.

The accompanying illustrations by Mariano Epelbaum are a mix of greyscale images in the same style as the front cover image, which are amazing, and diagrams on ruled paper that are intended to look as though a kid has drawn them, complete with short descriptions and arrows pointing out the important bits. I really enjoyed the main illustrations although found that the details didn’t always match the details of the story.

As soon as I discovered this book I knew I had to read it. Marketed as a new chapter book series I assumed it was the first in the series and didn’t bother to check prior to beginning to read. I’ve since learned it’s the fifth book in the series and the sixth is scheduled to be released before the end of the year. While I had no trouble following along without having already read the earlier books I loved this one so much that I now want to read the entire series.

New Favourite Phrase:

“Holy dino dung!”

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Welcome to The Lost Plains!

A wild west frontier where dinosaurs never went extinct.

Josh Sanders wants to be the next great dinosaur cowboy! Ropin’ raptors and ridin’ bucking brontosauruses just like his hero Terrordactyl Bill.

Too bad he’s stuck working on his family’s Iguanodon ranch, riding his ancient dino, Plodder. The closest Josh has ever been to a T-Rex is reading about them in his Dino Cowboy Handbook.

To prove he has what it takes, Josh is determined to win the annual Settlement Race. But he’s gonna need one fast dino to stand a chance. With the help of his friends Sam and Abi, Josh will need to tame a wild Triceratops!

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