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Jack the mechanic loves to repair broken vehicles in his workshop. But the magical Rally Road Workshop is no ordinary garage. Whenever Jack takes one of his vehicles on a test drive, he is wondrously transported to incredible locations or different time periods.
The Dinosaur Digger finds Jack and his dog Riley displaced to the age of the dinosaurs and it is not long before they attract the unwelcome attention of the most fearsome of beasts, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The hungry T.Rex gives chase and is intent on swiping a baby dinosaur for his lunch. Can Jack and Riley save the vulnerable babies and scare away the formidable lizard before it is too late?
Any book containing the popular themes of dinosaurs and motor vehicles is sure to be in instant hit with children, particularly boys. The story is fast-paced and exciting and the bold illustrations compliment the story well. On most pages, the illustrations are sufficiently detailed to spark lively conversation between parent and child. I particularly liked the close-up of the roaring T.Rex, which spans two whole pages. Its sudden appearance is likely to make young readers squeal with delight, especially as the dinosaur continues chase on the following page, this time facing the reader head on with mouth open wide, revealing a set of sharp, glinting teeth.
A nice feature of the book was the fact that it contained a 3D press-out cardboard digger. This allows the parent and child to interact more fully with the story as it is being told and really brings the narrative to life. As I read the book to my son, I got him to steer and swerve his cardboard digger out of trouble as the hungry dinosaur gave chase.
My only slight criticism of the book was the way that my young son reacted to it. He seemed to lose interest halfway through the book and when I left him alone with it, he didn't bother to pick it up or even look at the pictures. He hasn't bothered much with the toy digger either, perhaps because it is not the same scale as his other toy cars.
The "Mr Benn" style plot of the book is sure to spawn a range of sequels due to the limitless potential of vehicles and scenarios that could be combined in future stories. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a TV adaptation at some point in the near future.
This book review previously appeared under my name on www.thebookbag.co.uk and I thank the publishers for my review copy.