Welcome to another exciting book review day on the blog! Today I bring you two books in the new Dino Riders series, as well as a giveaway and an excerpt 🙂 Happy reading!
How to Tame a Triceratops
by Will Dare
Publication date: April 2, 2017
Series: Dino Riders #1
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!
This wildly entertaining new chapter book series for ages 7 and up features exciting illustrations and real dino facts! A great way to get kids reading. And don’t miss the next book in the series: How to Rope a Giganotosaurus.
Two bundles of the first two Dino Riders books – How to Tame Your Triceratops & How to Rope a Giganotosaurus
How to Tame a Triceratops (2017, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, Chapter Book)
How to Tame a Triceratops, written and illustrated by Will Dare, is the first book in a ferocious new chapter book series. I say this a lot, but it is difficult to find an engaging and original chapter book series. There are a few good ones out there, but more often than not, the chapter book field leaves something to be desired. Then comes this new series and I am completely captivated!
Dinosaurs, a race through the desert, and a wild west theme. What more could a reader ask for?
Dinosaur stories are always fun and this one is sure to be a hit with both young readers and their parents. Josh is a likeable character and he lives an exciting life as he wrangles dinosaurs. There’s a nice combination of crazy dinosaur-roping antics and typical kid stuff, with school and friends.
The pacing is well done and allows for a decent story arc while still keeping the book length short and not sacrificing character development or plot. This is a story adults will enjoy reading with children and they won’t be bored with simple sentences or a dull plot. As a bonus, there are great illustrations sprinkled throughout as well as dinosaur facts.
Highly recommended for children ages 7 and up.
How to Rope a Gigantosaurus (2017, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, Chapter Book)
Book two in Will Dare’s Dino Riders series follows in the dino footprints of book one. How To Rope a Gigantosaurus takes readers on another fun dino-adventure with Josh and friends. With bigger dinosaurs and riskier adventures, this book does not disappoint.
Josh’s friends get more page-time and overall the characters are more developed as the series continues. Again, the plot is engaging and entertaining, and young readers won’t be able to put this book down until they have read it all.
Another fantastic addition to any home or school library. Highly recommended for children ages 7 and up.
Josh sat up in bed and rubbed his eyes. He’d just been dreaming about riding through the Roaring Jaws Valley when he was woken by a loud screeching noise outside. “What the…?”
It was pitch-dark—the middle of the night— but he was sure he’d heard…
“Pterodactyl!” Josh cried. He’d know that sound anywhere.
He raced to the window and looked out just in time to see one of the winged beasts swoop down low over the barn, where some newly born iguanodons were being kept. It clattered against the roof, tearing at the wood with its claws. If that thing got in the barn, those baby guanos were done for.
He leaped out of bed and jumped straight out of his window, racing for Plodder’s pen. Nothing and no one was going to snatch up one of his family’s iguanodons. There was no time to lose. The old gallimimus roared with surprise as Josh jumped on his back, then they raced out into the open, across to the barn.
“Get away from there!” Josh cried, waving his arms above his head and readying his lasso. The pterodactyl swooped down low and stretched its claws in his direction. In an instant, Plodder reared up in fright, throwing Josh off his back.
Josh hit the ground hard, knocking the wind from him. He could just make out the terrified cries of Plodder as he ran back to his pen.
“Plod!” he said and groaned. “Come back!” But it was no use. As he looked up into the sky, his eyes went wide with fear. The pterodactyl was plunging from the sky toward him. Its claws sliced through the air like knife blades.
And Josh had nowhere to run. He braced himself for impact…
Suddenly, a roar went up from his side, and a huge shadow passed over him. Three pointed horns stabbed upward at the pterodactyl.
“Charge!” Josh gasped.
The huge triceratops roared angrily as he swiped and slashed at the sky, forcing the winged dinosaur to flap higher into the air.
Josh jumped up, keeping a close eye on the ’dactyl. He felt something brush against his legs and looked down to see a large horn rising up from the ground toward him. Josh yelped in fright as he tumbled backward and then landed heavily on a pair of muscular shoulders.
Beneath him, Charge snorted, as if telling Josh to hold on. Josh grabbed the young dino’s horns just as it kicked into top gear. The ground rolled by in a blur as Charge raced after the fleeing pterodactyl—with Plodder charging back in the other direction toward the ranch.
“I guess you don’t like ’dactyls much,” Josh said and laughed, barely able to believe it. He’d hoped if he’d found something Charge liked, the triceratops would let Josh ride him. He hadn’t thought about trying to find something he didn’t like!
Up in the air, the ’dactyl took one look at the charging triceratops and flapped faster. To Josh’s amazement, Charge lowered his head and quickly began to close the gap.
“Faster than a bullet in a hurricane!” Josh cheered.
Panicked, the ’dactyl turned and tried to swipe at them with its claws, but Charge reared up onto his hind legs, stabbing at the sky with his horns.
Josh whooped excitedly and held on tight. The pterodactyl gave an angry squawk, then flew straight up into the clouds.
“You did it!” Josh called. But as the flying dino took to the skies, Charge didn’t stop charging. Now that he was all excited, he was zooming around like a dinosaur possessed—just as Mr. Sanders came running down from the house.
“Uh-oh,” Josh said, but it was no use. Charge was heading right for the barn.
Luckily, Josh knew exactly what to do.
In an instant, he jumped up to standing on Charge’s back, just like he’d done with Plodder. This time though, he took his lasso and looped it around Charge’s huge central horn. With a yank of the rope, he shifted the dinosaur’s head to the left. Just as he was about to crash into the side of the barn, the charging dino gave a roar and came to a shuddering stop. His dad looked on wide-eyed, face-to-face with the heaving, eager dino.
“Dad! Charge saved the guanos!” Josh cheered.
“And, look, I got him under control too.” Charge gave an impatient snort. “Well, kinda!”
Mr. Sanders watched Josh, openmouthed. Eventually though, he gave him a wry smile. “Well, son, in all the years of dino wrangling, I’ve never seen anyone ride a trihorn like that. I guess you got yourself the new dino you were after,” he said.
“Does that mean I get to race him?” Josh asked. “I suppose it does,” his dad began. “But on one condition—”
“Anything!” Josh said.
His dad cast an eye over what Josh was wearing. “No racing in your pajamas!”
Thank you to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for a reading copy of these books in exchange for my honest review.