THE LITTLE PROTO CHARACTER
Little Proto is a young protoceratops who lives sixty-seven million years ago at the edge of an inland sea in what is now Montana. Stories about him by Odds Bodkin are for children ages 4 and up and feature characters, 12-string guitar music, songs and dinosaur vocal effects. Children play them over and over, and often fall asleep listening to them.
Proto’s childhood friends at Big River’s swimming hole include Bump, Plessy the Plesiosaur and Ankles the Ankylosaur, who’s too heavy to swim but wants to anyway. When he jumps in and sinks and King Geoffrey has to rescue him he’s upset, but when a distant volcano explodes a cloud of ash and the other young dinos dash off to Lookout Hill and accidentally leave Ankles behind, he feels useless. Singing about it and crying, he crosses Big River on exposed rocks into the territory of the Others. Meanwhile, Old Wrinkles sings to the Sea Forest dinos about what may come: a volcano’s fire. He confides in Proto how he became an orphan when the same volcano erupted long ago. As Great Migration dinos run in with the gathering smoke, they all realize that sheltering on the beach won’t work because a giant mosasaur is waiting in the waves. As the adults build a fire line, volcanic fire bombs set the world ablaze. Suddenly, Proto and his friends see that Ankles isn’t with them. Racing against time, they cross Big River and find him, but on the way back a volcanic mud flow comes down the valley. Using his strength, Ankles hauls Plessy out of the water and saves her. He doesn’t feel useless anymore and the fire line and flood have saved the Sea Forest. In the end, the dinos sing a song about the mystery and beauty of life.
WINNER: Parents’ Choice Silver Award