Grades 3 - 7 / Ages 8 - 12.
The conversation in Eric's head continued.Time-travel books are often "problem" books in disguise. This one, however, is not. Eric doesn't have a problem; he has an obsession, and that obsession is dinosaurs. In fact, as the author is a little too careful to explain, Eric, his sister Rose and their dog have already gone back in time on a previous occasion to the late Cretaceous period where they made friends with a humanoid named Weet (the title of the previous book). That time they returned to the present just a few minutes before they left it. This time, having been projected back by a car crash in the Rocky Mountains, they hope a similar time warp will occur and give them a few moments in which to prevent the crash. In the meantime, however, they settle down to going exploring with Weet, crossing the as yet very young and still smoking Rockies, riding on the back of Weet's hadrosaur, all in search of descendents of Weet's ancestors who took to the trees along the Pacific Coast rather than escaping east to the Great Plains.
"Well," said the logical part in a superior voice, "obviously, you are back in time again."
"All very well," his emotions responded with just a touch of panic, "but where and when?"
"OK then, let's think this through," came the reply. "The last time we arrived in the late Cretaceous. That was when the rocks we were crawling through at the time were deposited. Is that a rule of time travel, I wonder?"
"There are no rules of time travel!" A note of near hysteria was creeping into the emotional side of the conversation. "Time travel is impossible!"
This book is not trying to be instructive, although inevitably facts and fictions about dinosaurs creep in. This is an adventure in which the children are alternately amused and terrified by forces animate and inanimate in a world about which they know, in some ways, much more than the inhabitants. In the course of their adventures, the factors which, singly or in combination, might have contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs are introduced, along with the possibility that some of these enormous creatures were both both intelligent and warm-blooded.
In the end, it is a meteorite shower that sends the three back to their own time where they do, indeed, live a replay of the few minutes before the crash and manage to get their father to pull over just in time by that age-old cri-de-coeur "I'm going to throw up!" This is a fun book and dinosaur-mad youngsters will have fun reading it and imagining themselves in the shoes of Eric and Rose.
Mary Thomas lives in Winnipeg and in her job in elementary school libraries has had some experience with "dinosaur-mad youngsters" !
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Copyright © 1998 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - FEBRUARY 13, 1998.
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