Sunday 5 September 2021

Nelson: Eggplants and Dinosaurs


Nelson: Eggplants and Dinosaurs by Andrew Levins, illustrated by Katie Kear (Puffin) PB RRP $12.99 ISBN 9781761042294

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

This is the third book in the totally outrageous adventures of Nelson Hunter, a boy who hates vegetables. In the first two books in the series, Nelson has discovered his nemesis - vegetables - are the key to his superpowers. 

In the first few pages of Levin's latest book, we discover that eating broccoli (kept with other vegetables in his bum bag), allows Nelson to become invisible. This – and eating pumpkin for strength -- allows him to get a cat out of a tree. 

We are then treated to reading how the only way for Nelson to turn his superpowers off is to either wait a few hours for them to wear off, or to expel the vegetables from his body by making himself throw up. Thus: ‘Nelson vomited pieces of chewed-up pumpkin and broccoli onto the ground.’ 

No wonder the boy wonder is called ‘Captain Vomit’ by Olive Sadana, his best friend, who tells him that the school library is missing all its dinosaur books, except for one, My First Dinosaur ABCs. Naturally, Nelson manages to retrieve the book from a searching robot. Before long, Nelson is called on to track down the worst thief in town, trialling the effects of eating eggplant. This ‘serious spy mystery’ results in an epic dinosaur disaster! Will Nelson be able to control his inner beast and use it to get out of danger?

This chapter book, of interest to readers aged 8+ years, has large type font, occasional purple pages (with white font), and lots of line illustrations. It is a humorous, fiction series from DJ, food writer, TEDx speaker, charity founder and all-round funny guy, Andrew Levins.

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