The Dinosaur Encounter: The Alberta Episode

Lisa Tasca Oatway
Tellwell Talent (2021)
ISBN 9780228864714
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (8/2022)

Growing up, I was a HUGE fan of the “Magic Tree House” Series. From traveling to the artic, traversing the jungles, or some other exotic location that certainly wasn’t the old tree house in the backyard, this series was full of adventure. “The Dinosaur Encounters” gives off similar vibes, allowing readers to travel the world, both past and present, through the lens of the Stonehart family and their magical powers.

The Stoneharts are at the heart of this story. As a family of six, I expected a wide range of personalities as the four kids vary from age twelve to age six. Author Lisa Tasca Oatway sets the stage when Victoria “Tori” Stonehart, the youngest of the crew, encounters a scary accident. She is quickly whisked to the doctor just prior to taking her first plane ride to Alberta, where the family has plans to visit fun spots picked out by each of the family members. With clearance to travel, the Stoneharts start their vacation at the museum, where there are several unique dinosaur skeletons to entertain each of the kids in their own unique ways. However, Tori discovers if she blinks three times, she is suddenly transported back in time to the dinosaur age, to the very spot where the skeleton she is viewing in the museum once wandered the earth. Soon bringing all three of her siblings with her to the land of dinosaurs to help save Nellie’s egg. 

Focusing primarily on Tori through her scary incident and newfound powers, this kickoff to an exciting new series promises to be full of adventure, following the Stonehart kids as they travel to exciting events in time, using their knowledge, what’s packed in their backpacks, and each other’s skill sets to solve any challenges they face along the way. The sibling rivalry, comradery, and teamwork lend to a perfect family read.

The facts, details, and scenery of each time period traveled to offer a teachable read for each story within the series. Parents can rejoice as this new “Blue Crescent Moon” series, aptly named from the blue crescent moon that appears under the eye of each time traveler upon reentry to the present, promises to teach kids about the subject matter within while keeping them entertained by the Stonehart family adventures.

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