SPOTLIGHT & INTERVIEW: Microsaurs: Follow That Tiny-Dactyl by Dustin Hansen
Microsaurs: Follow That Tiny-Dactyl
by Dustin Hansen
Danny and Lin never say no to adventure, so when Danny’s spy camera captures a tiny dinosaur crashing into Lin’s helmet during her skateboarding tryouts they know they have to investigate. But even they weren’t prepared for a secret laboratory filled with amazing inventions (including the Shrink-a-Fier and the Expand-o-matic 2) and astonishing discoveries (Triceratops are NOT fond of the color red!).
Who knew that tracking one tiny pterodactyl would open up such a giant world of adventure with the Microsaurs!?!
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids meets Jurassic Park in this new action-packed illustrated chapter book series from author and illustrator Dustin Hansen.
I have to say, first off this book and the idea of tiny dinosaurs reminded me of this movie from my childhood:
I wish it were streaming somewhere so I could show my older son! We read Microsaurs together. He immediately wished he could have a tiny dino as a pet and described to me all the places we could take him 😀
My son is a second grader, but a bit of an advanced reader for his age, and only had trouble with a handful of words. We both enjoyed the silly parts and watching the little dinos be adventurous. This is a cute, fun series that I think boys and girls will love equally. We can’t wait to read the next installment.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I’m a small town boy at heart. I grew up in rural Utah, where I could find adventure an hour in any direction. I spent a great deal of time in the outdoors, hiking, biking, and fishing like a Viking. (Vikings fly fished for small mountain trout, right?).
I remember many times going on ‘an adventure’ with my sisters as we explored the rattle snake infested acreage behind our home in Pigeon Hollow. The landscape was barren, yet beautiful, and while we walked and chewed on the sack lunches we always brought along, we made up fantastic tales, ranging from daring survival stories to walking with the giants of old.
This imaginative upbringing led me to a career as a visual artist in the video game industry, but my passion for telling stories was always tickling in the back of my mind.
2. What made you want to become a writer?
A lot of road led me to this point in my life. Most of them were dirt roads full of rocks, ruts, and pot holes, but all of them wound through the same fertile grounds. Family. I remember fondly having my dad read The Secret Garden to us as children, one chapter a night until we begged him to finish the last quarter of the book as we drew closer to the end. I remember making up stories with my sisters as we played for hours with our Fischer Price Adventure Set. And as I grew older and had a family of my own, I began to understand the importance of storytelling, and how it not only provides entertainment, but how it can empower, enlighten, and strengthen us. The first book I wrote that I was willing to share I read a chapter a night to my young children. They were, and still are, my biggest supporters, and their desire to add to the story, read sections aloud to each other, and demand me to hurry as I approached then end was all the fuel a tired writer needed to continue.
So, that’s really it. I became a writer to share my dreams and weird wanderings with my family. It’s just that now, my reading family is growing.
3. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?
I’m a pretty simple guy. I’d be lying if I said that my desk wasn’t covered in the ghostly remains of empty Diet Mt. Dew cans, but other than that, a little solitude, a warm blanket on my lap, and a bit of time is all I need to get the old words to travel from my brain to the keyboard.
4. What are some of your favorite books?
Oh boy. This is the most difficult question you could ask. Okay. I’ll try. I’m a huge fan of all things Roald Dahl. In many ways he is my storytelling ideal. I faked sick in the 8th grade to read Robinson Crusoe in a single sitting (first time I’d ever done that with a novel). The same year I read my first Stephen King novel, It, and it rocked my 13 year old world and set me on a 15 year King obsession. Those were definitely my formative books. But today, I LOVE Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Those books just tap my funny bone. The One and Only Ivan reminded me that heart is the most underappreciated element of children’s lit. Somehow I had forgotten this over the years. And A Monster Calls reminded me that young readers are not only able to handle big topics, but in many cases they are better at it than we adults are.
5. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Yes, and no. My main character, Lin, is loosely based on my daughters, Malorie and Annie. She kind of pulls her snarkiness from one, and her bravery from the other. But Twoee, the lovable puppy-ish triceratops is absolutely based on my 7 year old pal, Rusty. He’s a big brown puppy and when he’s not proofreading my rough drafts, he can be found lounging under my writing desk with one of his stuffed animal toys.
About the Author
Dustin was raised in rural Utah, where his imagination was his most constant companion. A reader, artist, and gamer from an early age, Dustin was encouraged to mine his talents, follow his passions, and find the fun in everyday life.
Dustin studied art in college, and entered the exciting world of video game development in 1994. His career has taken him and his family from coast to coast, but he always considered the small town he grew up in, Ephraim, Utah, his true home.
After spending a year as a director at Habro, Dustin, his wife, and four kids moved back to Ephraim, where he lives today in the shadows of a fine mountain, writes books about video games and dinosaurs, and takes long walks with his dog, Rusty.
Oh, and he loves the Utah Jazz, but that’s another story all together.
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