CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 34. . . .May 3, 2013
Pterosaur trouble follows a Quetzalcoatlus, a giant pterosaur from the Late Cretaceous period. On a stop at a forest river to fish, the Quetzalcoatlus is attacked by a pack of Saurornitholestes which threaten to kill the pterosaur even though Saurornitholestes is much, much smaller. The Quetzalcoatlus must find a way to take flight in order to escape the fierce little predators.
Pterosaur Trouble is an entertaining and informative story. While the book is written as a story for young readers, it is refreshing that the main characters are referred to only by species name, rather than being given human names. This approach keeps the focus on the action and the information being presented.
The story, itself, contains some factual information about pterosaurs and several of the dinosaurs that inhabited Earth during the Late Cretaceous period. There is a page at the end of the story with more information on Quetzalcoatlus and on the inspiration for Pterosaur Trouble. A short bibliography for further reading on Quetzalcoatlus and Saurornitholestes would be useful for readers who want to learn more. The correct pronunciations of Quetzalcoatlus and Saurornitholestes are given at the end of the book; however, a pronunciation guide at the beginning of the story would help out parents and teachers who are reading the book out loud.
Pterosaur Trouble has excellent illustrations. The lifelike illustrations reflect the recent research on dinosaurs and do not rely on old stereotypes. This can be seen in such aspects as the stance and front arms of the Tyrannosaurus rex, the feathers on the Saurornitholestes and the frills on the Triceratops.
The illustrations are well balanced with the text, with a two page illustration for several small paragraphs of text. The text in each illustration is located such that important details of the illustration are not masked and the text block has enough contrast in the colour to stand out from the illustration while still making the text readable. The illustrations are detailed, and readers will enjoy looking at them with and without the text. At the same time, the illustrations will be easily visible when shown to small groups as well as single readers.
Pterosaur Trouble is a well-written, wonderfully illustrated, and entertaining story that younger readers will enjoy both reading and having read to them.
Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen is a graduate of the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.
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