Terry Takes Off

illustrated by Peter Rutherford

(Suggested reading age 5-7 years old)

Terry has a secret fear. He can’t even tell his best friends about it. But when everyone is in danger, can Terry overcome his fear and save the day?

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UK Paperback
ISBN-10 : 0198377088 • ISBN-13 : 978-0198377085

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Author's Note

Terry Takes Off is the second book set in Volcano Valley and I already knew the characters, so writing it felt a bit like being back among old friends.

While the story features Cosmo, the hero of the first book, this second book is about Terry the pterodactyl, who is a far less confident character. Although I don’t share Terry’s fear of heights and flying (I’ve tried parascending a couple of times, and loved it), I know how it feels to be afraid to do something that you know you should be able to do. And I know that the embarrassment you may feel about this fear can be just as bad – or worse – than the fear itself. However, like Terry, I’ve also found that if you confront your fears, the experience is usually a lot less terrible than you had had imagined.

One of the comments I’ve had from several junior dinosaur experts (including my own son) about the first Volcano Valley book was that some of the species of dinosaurs in the story are from different time periods and therefore would not have been alive at the same time. For instance Cosmo, the compsognathus, is from the Jurassic period, while Terry, the pterodactyl, is from the Cretaceous, which was some 75 million years later. I was aware of this when I was choosing the characters (HONESTLY I was!) but had decided that – since my dinosaurs can talk to each other and play ball games (errors which the same experts rarely pick me up on) – I was not going to worry too much about authenticity.

Something else that may not look very authentic is the colourful patterning that Peter Rutherford, the books’ illustrator, has given the dinosaurs. But the truth is that while dinosaur experts may be able to tell what shape and size a dinosaur was from examining their fossils, they have little idea of what colour they were (as I’m sure Peter was aware). I love the striking colouring of Terry and Corey in particular and, for all we know, this may have been how pterodactyls and corythosaurs really looked!