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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Valley of the Dinosaurs: A Visit to the Produce Section "A Visit to the Produce Section"
Valley of the Dinosaurs book (Rand McNally)
Writer: Kathleen N. Daly
Artist: Phil Kantz


An earthquake leaves Greg and Tana stranded on the wrong side of the river.


Story Summary


Greg and Tana are out gathering greens, with Digger and Glump tagging along, for that evening's supper when an earthquake strikes, changing the course of the nearby river directly towards them. The two pets are far enough away to avoid harm, but the two humans are forced to jump onto and climb a nearby tree trunk, only to discover it was actually the neck of a Brontosaurus, which then moves and slopes down in such a way as to deposit the two on the opposite side of the river.


Digger and Glump run back to the cave to bring back help. The Butlers and Gorok's family follow and see the two stranded children. Gorok notes that the water is still too rough from the quake to cross the river in canoes. Katie comes up with an idea to use a tree to catapult a rope end, tied around a large rock, over to the elevated promontory on which the two kids are stuck. They successfully accomplish the plan and Greg and Tana tie their end of the rope to a tree and propel themselves hand-over-hand to the other side of the river, narrowly avoiding the hungry jaws of a plesiosaur in the water below.


Reaching the other side with Tana, Greg quips to his mom, "Next time you want greens for supper, just send me to the nearest supermarket!"




Notes from the Valley of the Dinosaurs Chronology


Greg seems surprised to see a giant turtle on page 2 of the story, suggesting it takes place some time before his family's use of a giant turtle shell as a boat in "A Turned Turtle".


Didja Know?


This story does not actually have a title beyond the title of the children's book, Valley of the Dinosaurs. I made up the title "A Visit to the Produce Section" myself to distinguish the story from the overall series of Valley of the Dinosaurs.


Didja Notice?


The pterosaur seen in the background on the cover of the book appears to be a Pteranodon. The sauropod in the water is harder to identify from a distance; it appears to be quite large, even for a sauropod, and the top of the head seems somewhat bulbous, suggesting it may be a Brachiosaurus.


On the double-page title page of the book, there is a one-paragraph introduction to the series which begins, "After their boat is destroyed in the rapids of a river, Professor John Butler and family are washed into the unreachable Valley of the Dinosaurs, deep in Brazil's Amazon region." This reveals for the first time that the valley is within the Brazilian portion of the Amazon (about 60% of the Amazon rainforest lies within the nation of Brazil). But, during the opening theme of the series, the rubber raft on which the family travels down the Amazon River is not destroyed; it emerges with them from the underground cavern, seemingly intact, into the Valley of the Dinosaurs, though it did apparently sink after the Butlers' rescue from the water by Gorok's family, as it is seen at the bottom of the lagoon in "S.O.S". Also, the paragraph's description of the valley as "unreachable" is obviously not true since the Butlers have reached it, however unintentionally!


Also on the title page of the book, the characters are all labeled with their names, except for the hapless pets, Digger and Glump.


On page 4 of the story, Glump seems to be so terrified of the earthquake that he appears to be shedding a tear!

Glump sheds a tear of fright


On page 7, Tana refers to one of the local brontosaurs as Pea Brain. It doesn't seem likely she or her clan came up with this name herself; it sounds more like something Greg or Katie would have said as a joke and it stuck.


On page 10 of the story, the plates on Glump's left-hand side are actually emerging from just above his legs instead of on his back!

deformed Glump


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