This is a book that I gleaned much enjoyment from as a child. The thought of having a dinosaur hatch in my own backyard seemed to make perfect sense to me. The fact that it came from a chicken seemed perfectly reasonable. I don’t think anything else about the story mattered. Just that there was a dinosaur and I could spend hours imagining having my own dinosaur that I could ride around and talk to.
The story is somewhat weakened now by a number of factors. The most glaring of all is the fact that scientists no longer believe that the Triceratops existed. This has been happening with a number of dinosaurs that I learned about when I was little. I’m not really sure scientists know anything at all about dinosaurs anymore. That fact and the preposterousness that a millions-years-old genetic mutation would yield a healthy dinosaur from a chicken are all circumstantial to the fact that nothing happens. The story is all very idyllic and silly and lacks tension in any way. There are a few chapters where a senator is trying to get the dinosaur killed because he’s too expensive to feed and un-American. I think most senators would be laughed out of the building if they tried to make this a national issue. Beyond that there is no conflict of any kind.
I suspect that, despite its inconsistencies with modern scientific ‘knowledge’ this book would still be enthralling to children – especially the kind that like dinosaurs. It doesn’t hold up well for adults.