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BOOK REVIEW: Nelson 3 – Eggplants and Dinosaurs by Andrew Levins, illustrated by Katie Kear

| 30 August 2021 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Nelson 3 – Eggplants and Dinosaurs by Andrew Levins, illustrated by Katie Kear

Puffin Books
August 2021
Paperback, $12.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Middle Grade / Humour

65% Rocking

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!

After Nelson discovers his nemesis – vegetables – are actually the key to his superpowers, he’s called on to track down some of the worst thieves in town. But trialling the effects of eating an eggplant has disastrous consequences… Will Nelson be able to control his inner beast and use it to get out of danger?

Nelson is a hilarious illustrated junior fiction series from DJ, food writer, TEDx speaker, charity founder and all-round funny guy, Andrew Levins.



Nelson had started to keep a handful of vegetables, the sickening source of his superpowers, in a bumbag around his waist. Nelson didn’t like being so close to the things he hated most in the universe, but having them on him made his superpowers a lot easier to access than trying to find a pumpkin every time he needed to be strong enough to lift a car above his head.

As we join Nelson for the third book in the series, he still hates everything about veggies, but he’s started to come to terms with the fact that they are necessary to activate his powers, and he no longer has to be tickled into eating them, and he about to eat some more veggies to try and save some very important books.

Over the past week, someone has been stealing every book about dinosaurs from every library and bookshop in the country,’ said Agent Cherry. ‘I’m talking every dinosaur encyclopedia, every palaeobiology almanac, every prehistoric comic book – gone. Right now, the only book left about Dinosaurs is a copy of My First Dinosaur ABCs, and it just happens to be inside your school library. We need you to get in there and protect that dinosaur alphabet book with your life!’
Nelson took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He knew all about that book. My First Dinosaur ABCs was the only book he’d borrowed in kindergarten. It had taught him the ABCs, from Allosaurus to Zuniceratops, and he wasn’t going to let this important piece of literature disappear. Even if it meant breaking into the school library on a Sunday afternoon.

Amidst saving the book from destruction, meeting his new recovery teacher who seems to hate dinosaurs with a passion, and having dinner with his friend Olive’s family for the first time, Nelson will try eggplant and discover his next special ability.


A really great aspect of the Nelson series of books is the inclusion of recipes that tie in with the story as a new way to try veggies we might otherwise dislike (or think we do). This is great for parents trying to encourage reluctant super-heroes to grow up big and strong, and great for the kids who want to discover what powers different veggies might bestow upon them! In this book the recipe is for Olive’s Favourite Baingan Bharta, and is bound to expand your dining horizons.



Category: Book Reviews

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