Prairie Fire Review - Dinosaur Stakeout
Reviewed by: Donna Gamache
Dinosaur Stakeout is Judith Silverthorne's third book in her "Dinosaur Adventure Series" for children, set in the Frenchman River Valley of southwestern Saskatchewan. In the first of the series, Dinosaur Hideout, Daniel Bingham and an elderley, reclusive neighbour, Ole Pederson (who is actually a distinguished paleontologist), discovered some dinosaur artifacts on his family's farm--a farm Daniel's family was in danger of losing due to financial problems. Together, the two found a way to use the dinosaur discovery to save the Bingham's farm from the bank.
In the second book, Dinosaur Breakout, Daniel accidentally discovered a way to travel back to the time of the dinosaurs, first by himself, and then later with two bullies, Craig and Todd Nelwin. The boys' adventures in the past were filled with danger, but they finally made it back safely to Daniel's farm.
Silverthorne's newest book begins with Daniel's whole familiy running a sort of park where visitors can camp and be taken on exploration trips of the dinosaur dig Mr. Peterson and Daniel are working on. At first twelve-year-old Daniel has no intention of returning to the dinosaurs' world; it is too dangerous, and besides, he's lost his means of returning there. Then he discovers a pinecone from the Cretaceous Period and realizes he can time-travel back again. His plans are changed somewhat when another elderly paleontologist, Dr. Mildred Roost, a friend of Mr. Pederson, arrives to help with the dig. She suspects that Daniel plans a return trip to the dinosaurs' world and insists on accompanying him. Together the two time-travel back and begin to explore the region, collect vegetation samples, and snap digital photos of the fantastic creatures they encounter. Together they experience a number of harrowing adventures. Fortunately, although Mildred Roost can't keep up to Daniel when it comes to climbing trees or running away from attacking dinosaurs, she does have a few tricks in her backpack, which she uses with some success.
Young readers who like a good adventure story will enjoy this book, particularly if they have an interest in young dinosaurs. Although this is the third in the series, it is not necessary to have read the first two to enjoy this one. The author gives plenty of information at the beginning of this book to explain what has ocurred in the two previous books. However, young readers who haven't read the rest of the series may be a little confused in the beginning with all the characters. They are carefully explained, but there are a lot of them.
The author has included a glossary of technical terms, which readers will find useful, as well as a detailed bibliography for anyone interested in further reading. (Perhaps a map could have been added to show the approximate location.)
The previous books in Silverthorne's dinosaur series were winners of various awards, and it seems likely that this one will follow suit. The conclusion of the story leaves readers with the impression that there will probably be more adventures to follow.