I had reservations about Keith Brumpton’s Dino FC series, after discovering it at our local library. Dinosaurs AND football. All seemed a bit gimmicky.
However, who this book is good for are kids who are just beginning to enjoy reading books themselves.
The story is both simple and captivating enough for early readers to enjoy. The addition of comic strip illustrations among the prose is a nice touch, and I can’t help thinking this series would make a great comic series.
Keith Brumpton writes about football really well for his young audience. He cleverly conveys the technical aspects of the game, while maintaining excitement and tension. Footie fan Toby was certainly hooked, and we were both really rooting for the Dino FC team by the middle.
I don’t think it needed to be about dinosaurs though. The blend of the prehistoric with contemporary football in-jokes didn’t seem a natural fit, and there were simply too many characters with really long names to stay on top of for such a short tale.
The match-card extras and line-up feature at the start of the book did really help with that and Toby enjoyed studying all the details about the fictional players in the same way he would for any Premiership club. Toby definitely saw past the dinosaurs, and just really engaged with the football.
So on that note I would recommend this series to any child who is more enthusiastic about football than books. We will certainly be checking out a few more in the series, the next time we’re at the library. And maybe Toby will start reading them for himself at bedtime, as they were at just the correct level for him.
Fun factor: 4/5
Fidget factor: 0/5
Fear factor: 0/5
Page turnability: 4/5
Mum’s final score: 7/10 – Less dinosaurs, more football and perhaps better as a comic strip, but fun, escapism at the end of our busy days
Toby’s final score: 9/10 – he really engaged with this and wants to seek out some more, so a hit for him.