Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

If you loved “Land Before Time” as a child, and let’s be honest, who didn’t, this is a gorgeous, atmospheric, nostalgic read. But like so many children’s books, it also features a strong, underlying note of tragedy and sadness.

About the Book

Buy Now
US Amazon: https://amzn.to/44JLvFU
UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/43DvErv
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/152006840-the-heart-of-pangaea
Author Website:

Robyn has a vivid imagination, even for a twelve-year-old. Vivid enough to create herself a companion—but Ed isn’t your ordinary imaginary friend. Ed is a Dimetrodon, an ancient beast from a forgotten age.

When her mother falls ill, Robyn and Ed delve into her subconscious, to the prehistoric kingdom of Pangaea, in search of a cure. But in a world of dinosaurs, pirates, and ancient magic, can they even save themselves?

The Heart of Pangaea brings the wonders of palaeontology to a magical, fantasy setting.

My Thoughts

This book was both incredibly sad and amazingly funny. I was absolutely delighted by the humor throughout this book. And that humor was a necessary juxtaposition against the overwhelming grief and sadness this poor girl was facing at the loss of her mother. I don’t usually do spoilers, but it’s a big plot point that you get early on – that her mother is facing a terminal illness – and Robin will do anything she can to help. The author has built a beautiful, complex world that many children – and adults – will delight in exploring. Anyone who loves dinosaurs, or who has at any point in their life, will enjoy exploring this land filled with creatures.

But like any fantasy novel, there is also darkness tucked within the pages. This novel teaches a great deal about dinosaurs, science, and history, but it also teaches us a great deal about human nature, disguised as dinosaur nature. There is an exploration of how we treat those that are different than ourselves, including a clear discussion of propaganda and stereotypes, which is a huge topic to explore in children’s books. But it was done so well, it seems easy to digest for even those on the younger age of the age recommendation.

I look forward to hearing more of the author’s unique, funny, and informative voice. I wasn’t big on science as a child, but I loved reading. Books like this seem like a great way to teach children like I was about science. As a parent, I’m always excited about books like this, and he the author is definitely one I’ll keep on my radar for my daughter – who loves dinosaurs for now at least. I’m grateful to the author and Love Books Tours for including me on the tour.

Who’s It For

The book is labeled for 10 to 18-year-olds, and that seems right. I’m not sure older teens would be caught reading it, considering it “too young” for them, but parts of it both absolutely gutted and delighted me, and I’m a few (haha) years older than 18. The main character’s mother has a terminal illness, so parents will have to use their best judgment for whether this is appropriate for their own children.

Content Warnings: Violence, Parent Death, Grief, Cancer

About the Author

Lindsey Kinsella is a Scottish writer and author of the science fiction novel “The Lazarus Taxa”.

While a qualified and experienced naval architect and an avid classic car enthusiast, he always reserved space in his life for his deep fascination with paleontology. This drove his writing process as he aspired to write tales of the rich and complex history of life on Earth.


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