Title: The Secret Dinosaur: Hunters Attack! (The Dinotek Adventures, Book #2) | Author & Illustrator: N.S. Blackman | Publication Date: January 14, 2014 | Publisher: Dinosaur Books Ltd. | Pages: 100 | Recommended Ages: 6+ | Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
Summary: **A fast-paced adventure full of action, excitement and great characters – with vibrant illustrations optimised for kindles/tablets**
Brave schoolboy Marlin Maxton has discovered an amazing secret. On a school trip to his local museum he found a forgotten room – full of dusty, life-sized dinosaur models. To his astonishment and delight his interest sparked these metallic model dinosaurs – called Dinoteks – into life! But now Marlin and his new dinosaur friends are in terrible danger. Their enemies are hunting the Dinoteks, determined to trap and destroy them. Marlin and the dinosaurs must escape from the museum.
But how? And where to?
In this story, Marlin must find the courage to take his place in a scary battle and the resourcefulness to free his friends and lead them to safety. And he still has a mystery to solve – how to wake his favourite Dinotek – the old centrosaurus, Protos. This is the second book in the Dinotek series – chapter books for kids, where the dinosaurs are not only back – they’re better than ever! As awesome as the prehistoric creatures and able to talk, feel and face their enemies as a team. Best of all they befriend Marlin and together boy and dinosaurs enjoy thrilling adventures.
This is a fun read for pleasure. An action packed, book for boys, girls and adventure fans of any age. These stories combine science fiction, mystery, adventure and of course, dinosaurs. Book 2 includes a recap of all the excitement from Book 1 – so readers can plunge straight in to this adventure!
Also, be sure to check out the newly released 3rd book in the series, The Secret Dinosaur: Jurassic Adventure (Dinotek Adventures, Book #3). REVIEW COMING SOON!!
My Thoughts: Those lovable and fiercely loyal dinosaur robots are back in the second book of the Dinotek Adventure series by author N.S. Blackman. When we left the Dinoteks at the end of Book 1, the reader was left with a cliffhanger as the mayor, in cahoots with the sinister businessman Howard H. Snickenbacker, and the bumbling museum manager, Oliver Grubbler plot to melt the Dinoteks down into scrap metal. But to do so, they must get through the young hero, Marlin Maxton who, along with the help of his Uncle Gus, will fiercely defend and protect his new friends: Protos the Centrosaurus, Flame the T-Rex, Steg the Stegosaurus, as well as the other Dinoteks. And the chase is on!
If you’ll recall, my son and I reviewed The Secret Dinosaur (The Dinotek Adventures, Book 1)a few months ago and we both agreed that it’s a winner. My Bottom Line was: “I highly recommend this fun new adventure series for reluctant readers who will be very entertained by this fast paced story. ” All of the things we loved about Book 1 (fast past, great characters,
dinosaurs, dinosaur robots, fast past, great adventure, sinister villains) all hold true for Book 2. The second book in the series picks off (literally) where Book 1 leaves off. The Dinoteks are in danger when Howard H. Snickenbacker sends an artillery of construction and demolition vehicles to the museum in order to capture the Dinoteks.
While Book 1 was focused on introducing the characters (both human and dinosaur robot alike), Book 2 is all about the action, with Snickenbacker, Grubbler and the mayor intent on capturing the Dinoteks. This book is designed to hold the reader’s attention, be it an adult reading it out loud to a child or a child reading it to themselves. The action in this book is non-stop from the first page to the last and is sure to keep children’s attention glued to the storyline which features a great chase taking the Dinoteks into the bowels of the museum, across the streets of the city, through the countryside, and finally on a bumpy train ride all with Snickenbacker hot on their heels.
While this fun early chapter book features important lessons about friendship and loyalty, I really appreciated the addition of the three golden rules that the Dinoteks must follow:
1. We must always look after each other.
2. We must never hurt anybody.
3. If somebody needs help we should always try to help them.
These are important lessons for any child to be taught and interestingly, these come to play in the story as Flame the T-Rex must follow these rules.
Book 2 features simple illustrations created by the author himself. I remember my son complaining that there should be more illustrations in the book. It does seem like Book 2 may have more illustrations (perhaps 2 or 3 per chapter) compared to Book 1 (which had roughly 1 or 2 per chapter). I think for emerging readers, it is particularly important to include many illustrations as it gives their eyes a break from reading line after line with no break.
I do have one piece of feedback for the author from the perspective of an adult who read the book aloud to my children. There are many changes in perspective throughout the story from the Dinoteks, to Marlin, to the inspector, to Grubbler, to Snickenbacker, etc. These do not translate as easily when you are reading out loud. When there was a change in perspective, my daughter would interrupt my reading and say, “What is going on?” I began warning her of changes in perspective before I continued reading. While changes in perspective may be a great way to keep a child’s interest in a story when they are reading it to themselves, it did not go over as well when I was reading it aloud.
My Bottom Line: The Secret Dinosaur: Hunters Attack! (The Dinotek Adventures, Book #2) is a fast paced, non-stop action thriller certain to keep newly independent or reluctant readers fully engaged with the engaging plot. Book 2 succeeds in developing the characters more fully including Marlin and each of the Dinoteks. I loved to cheer on the good guys and jeer at the bad guys who were deliciously villainous. I highly recommend all of the Dinotek Adventurebooks to independent readers or as a read-aloud story that will keep the audience’s attention from the first page to the last. Ages 6 to 10.
* This book was provided to me by the author free-of-charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. The author is participating in our Book Promotion services. *
More Buzz About the Book
“Book is excellent for early readers, chapters short, plot fast and lots happens. Wholesome characters and satisfying baddies – and the pictures are great.” ~ 5 Star Review, MC, Amazon
“Just as good as book one, builds to an exciting climax and has a brilliant surprise at the end. My two girls (6 and 9) love this series so far and it reads out loud well so makes a nice bedtime story” ~ 5 Star Review, Dino Dad, Amazon
“Yes boys, or tom boys, this appeals to our T-Rextosterone side. Great for read aloud age group! My son now has book #3.” ~ 5 Star Review, DeVona L., Amazon
About the Author: N.S. Blackman
N.S. Blackman is a British author and illustrator of children’s books. He’s based in London and has two children, a boy and a girl. Inspiration for the Dinotek characters struck when his children asked him to tell them a story during a long walk on holiday, though he has been writing and drawing since childhood. At the time his son was dinosaur-mad and the family had enjoyed many, many visits to London’s Natural History Museum as well as other dinosaur exhibitions, so the story idea flowed naturally from there.
Nigel is big fan of Dr Who and science fiction in general. He also has a fondness for old machines – which is very obvious in The Secret Dinosaur! As an illustrator, he loves sketching and drawing and has always enjoyed comic books and graphic novels – Tintin has been a particular favourite since childhood and his son’s enjoyment of comic books keeps him up-to-date. Although The Secret Dinosaur is a chapter book, the pictures are integral to the story and he loves creating the look of the characters. Nigel loves reading his books aloud to children (and any adults who will listen) and his visits to local schools include a reading, answering dinosaur questions and tips for the children on how to create their own stories and characters. This year, he will publish more Dinotek stories and an entirely new series too.