"MICROSAURS: Follow That Tiny-Dactyl," by Dustin Hansen, Feiwel and Friends, $13.99, 211 pages (ages 8-11) (f)
"Microsaurs: Follow That Tiny-Dactyl," by Dustin Hansen, is an inventive, fun story about a pair of adventurous kids who discover a world of miniature dinosaurs.
It's a fast-moving tale from the moment a little orange flying creature takes off with the beacon from Danny's dad's GPS. Danny and his skateboarding best friend, Lin Song, go after the red-orange, birdlike dinosaur and end up chasing it to a garden full of tiny, prehistoric animals.
On the way, the two children shrink to the size of ants and have to figure out how to get back to their full size before it's time for Lin to finish an important skateboarding competition.
Meanwhile, they also have to avoid being smashed by real dinosaurs roaming the garden tended and cataloged by Professor Penbrook Penrod for his uncle, another Professor Penrod.
One dinosaur reacts like an angry bull to Danny's red shirt. Another takes Danny and Lin for a ride in a hot air balloon made out of a bottle cap and rubber bands that keep breaking. There are stegosauri with plates on their spines, dimetrodons with large sails on their backs, dinosaurs with three horns and others with long necks.
This story melds reality and fantasy in a lively read with great graphics and even some little known facts about dinosaurs. There's some science woven in, too, as the kids work with the wiring of the beacon, a Spy-Zoom camera and a smartphone to try and get back to normal size and back home.
It's all amazingly easy to read, and there's no content to worry a parent: no violence, no bad language and all kinds of charmingly sweet adventure.
The second book, "Microsaurs: Tiny-Raptor Pack Attack" is scheduled to be released July 18.