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Trygg the Dinosaur

by Paula Louise Salvador and John Bindon (ill.)

Trygg the DinosaurWith the lovability of The Land Before Time and the accuracy of an encyclopedia, Trygg the Dinosaur is an immersive tale set in the Western Canada region over 76 million years ago. The early chapter book follows the adventurous pursuits of two young dinosaurs who – despite the fact that they’re from rival species – form an unlikely friendship. 

Trygg, a member of the predatory Troodons, may be smaller than his peers and have no family, but he’s tenacious and has thrived. One day he encounters Alta, a gentle, plant-eating hypacrosaurus, at the lakeshore. Alta is not only small, her injured leg and parentless state have left her an outcast among her tribe.

Faced with an unforgiving landscape, hunger, and banishment, Trygg and Alta struggle to survive. As alliances and outside pressures threaten to tear the two apart, the friends’ bond and ability to work together end up saving their respective herds in the face of impending drought.

Author Paula Louise Salvador, a science documentary filmmaker, consulted with many experts to paint an accurate picture of these long-ago dwellers and the harsh landscape upon which every action counted toward life or death.

Vividly rendered, the full-page pencil sketches by illustrator John Bindon allow readers to visualize how these dinosaurs actually looked.

The chapters are short and compact, putting young readers at ease with an non-intimidating format. Trygg is an immediately lovable underdog and his companion Alta is a loyal friend who risks being punished as a traitor while trying to help others. Even in a world so far removed from our own, we can see ourselves in the friendship, and the need to belong.