Kate Murray, Visual Editor

My dad’s favorite book to read to us kids when we were little was The Hobbit.  I, unfortunately, was a “bad kid” and just couldn’t get into it, so he read me a different book, and one that in my opinion is still much better.  Be aware, however, that there is a movie adaptation of this book and it was awful and did not capture the spirit of the book at all.

The name of this book is Dinotopia.  And yes it is a children’s book, but that is no reason that teens and adults can’t enjoy it; Watership Down was a children’s book but I would hesitate to read that one to kids.  There were quite a lot of stories about literal rabbit hell.

There is, however, actually nothing even vaguely sad or violent in Dinotopia, and it’s much better for a light read.

The book centers around the adventures of Arthur and Will Denison, a father and son team of seventeenth century explorers, who are shipwrecked on a seemingly abandoned island.  But is it really?  No, absolutely not! There are dinosaurs and humans living together on the continent of Dinotopia very happily.  The book is written as a diary of Arthur’s, and is very well illustrated with lots of pictures of DINOSAURS.

Another aspect I like about it is that it’s a good escape from the world where people are rude or just outright mean and the environment is slowly being destroyed.  No one in Dinotopia is mean on purpose, though there are of course miscommunications.  In fact the meanest person in Dinotopia is Crabbe, and really he’s not even that mean if you think about it, at least no more mean than your average land contractor destroying the environment and historic monuments.  However, people generally don’t trust him and he isn’t given a whole lot of power.

In a world where the customary greeting is “breathe deep, seek peace,” and teamwork and equality are some of the most valued qualities, you wouldn’t think it could get  much better.  But wait there’s more!  All the children in Dinotopia have toys modeled after their favorite dinosaurs!  Just think!  I could have had a pachycephalosaurus tricycle!

It might not seem like your piece of cake, but if you are feeling down I highly recommend you pick all three books up from the Ames Public Library.