Bronto and the Pterodactyl Eggs

Authored and Illustrated by Charlotte Vivian Rodenberg

Publisher: Craigmore Creations

ISBN: 978- 0 -9844422- 4- 9

I’ve come to associate Craigmore Creations books with innovation and quality in conveying scientific information to children. With smart and well designed books like Terra Tempo and Right Where You Are Now, they have introduced concepts like evolution and the Ice Age to kids of  different  age groups and reading levels, through a skilful blend of fact and fiction.

Bronto.. is a little different in that it is almost a fairytale, about a kindly Apatosaurus who becomes foster parent to a batch of abandoned pterodactyl eggs.  Ambling about his business one day, Bronto discovers the nest in a tree. He waits for their mother, then decides to keep the eggs safe himself. But that is hardly an easy task; Bronto lives, after all, in the Jurassic age, a time of dangers as varied as  active volcanoes and hungry predators. When a volcano does erupt near the eggs, Bronto courageously buries the eggs before running to safety himself. Time passes, and one day the eggs are finally ready to hatch. 

Bronto is clearly meant to be a picture book for very early readers; my eight year old liked the story and the drawings but already knows enough about dinosaurs to be a little skeptical of Bronto’s sweet paternal gesture. A younger neighbor, however, while also a great fan of toothy  T-rexes on rampage, was bowled over by the story when we read it out to him. I can see this book being used, not just as an introduction to dinosaurs, but also as a parable about courage and helpfulness.

Author and Illustrator Charlotte Rodenberg’s drawing style is childlike, using strong lines and a vibrant palette to depict Bronto’s world.  I especially liked the small line drawings accompanying the text that were developed into beautifully detailed spreads on the opposite page.