Books & Literature

Book Review: Nelson 3: Eggplants and Dinosaurs, by Andrew Levins and illustrated by Katie Kear

CHILDREN’S BOOK: The third book in the totally outrageous adventures of Nelson Hunter – the boy who hates vegetables. Featuring a serious spy mystery and an epic dinosaur disaster!

a fun spy story for the younger reader full of crazy ideas, a super hero and vegetables!

Eggplants and Dinosaurs is the third book in the Nelson series by Andrew Levins. Nelson has discovered, much to his disgust, that vegetables are the reason for his super powers. Unfortunately, he dislikes vegetables INTENSELY!! In the first book, he found out that pumpkin made him powerful. In book two, broccoli made him invisible. What can possibly happen when he eats eggplant?

Unfortunately, he finds out when another super villain is on the loose. This villain hates all things dinosaur—books, museums and bones. Together with his best friend Olive, Nelson must save everything “dinosaur” from disappearing off the face of the earth.

Andrew Levins has also been a food writer and run a restaurant, and maybe it is this love of food that encouraged him to write about vegetables.

The story is actually ridiculous. It makes no sense at all and is totally unbelievable. But who needs reality when children can save the world by eating a vegetable?

We again have fun black-and-white illustrations by Katie Kear with suitable purple highlights as a nod to the eggplant. They make a perfect addition to the text. She has again dotted the book with double pages in all purple and the front cover has a purple background as well. These colour-themed books would look great on any middle year’s bookshelf. One wonders which vegetable and colour will come next?

A book with 18 chapters in all, each one is short enough to encourage even those readers who are new to novels. An added bonus at the end is the addition of Olive’s favourite eggplant recipe, Baingan Bharta.

If you enjoy a little bit of escapism, goodies vs baddies, and children with the ability to save the world, then this series is for you. But a word of warning: this book contains lots of vomit!

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

Distributed by: Penguin Books
Released: 31 August 2021
RRP: $12.99

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