Another wave of JW merchandise is beginning to hit stores, and that’s its line of children’s books. Other kids’ books have already been released– such as the InGen Dinosaur Guide and Ultimate Activity Book– but the most recent one was the junior novelization, which I’ll get to in a minute. I don’t know how long ago the other two that I’ll be showing you were released, but I hadn’t seen them at all until I went to Barnes & Noble today. (And what kind of impression did people get from an adult woman taking pictures of, and giggling over, a bunch of kids’ books in the middle of a Barnes & Noble? The things I do for this blog.) The first is Danger: Dinosaurs! and it’s your typical easy-reader, filled with some of the most basic dinosaur facts known to man or child.
Seriously, it’s stuff like “Triceratops had three horns!” The cover says it’s step 3, but I knew everything in it when I was 5. Anyway, I’m reviewing for a different audience than the book’s intended one here, so I won’t go on about it. My favorite part of it is the final page which, if you’ve seen JW, pretty much speaks for itself:
Next is The Park Is Open, which is on a bit more of an advanced level:
I know it’s a kids’ sticker book, but if you happen to see this in a store near you, I would actually recommend buying it. It’s not a narrative, opting instead to present itself as sort of a guidebook for the park. It’s got maps of the island, information about rides and tours, and lots of full-color art from the website. It also comes with a bunch of awesome little stickers (which could be nice for a laptop if you feel the need to do something mature with them; personally I’d put ’em on my forehead) and ‘visitor passes’ for the park. Finally, it’s ‘narrated’ by Mr. DNA, and we could all use a little more Mr. DNA in our lives.
So overall, it’s a pretty nice little collector’s item and worth the 5 bucks. Finally, there’s the official movie novelization.
Before I get to the text, I should point out that it includes what I think is an exclusive photo:
So there’s the inside of the aviary. I would’ve liked to see this in the movie, even for a second; the set decoration with the waterfalls is pretty cool, and the dome of glass between visitors and huge, dangerous creatures gives it a cool Shark Encounter vibe. As for the text, I don’t know what it is, but it seems a little… underwhelmed. It describes the movie pretty well and in a fairly age-appropriate way, don’t get me wrong, but something about the writing style just didn’t seem so exciting. It was a lot of, “CRASH! The huge dinosaur stomped into the room and roared” but it didn’t engage the reader so to why that might be scary or exciting, you know? There just wasn’t any attempt at suspense or wonder. For instance, here’s the final scene:
Maybe it’s because the writing needed to be simplistic, or it’s just me. But I felt like, if I were a kid and I read this before seeing the movie, I’d think “Oh, it’s another dinosaur monster movie, big whoop.” Something about it just wasn’t so engaging.
It also made some interesting choices in what it added and left out. For instance, it uses the phrase “oh God” just as often as the movie does, which one could argue that a lot of religious parents could take issue with:
Yet it somehow feels the need to downplay Owen and Claire’s relationship status as much as possible, as if that could somehow be inappropriate for kids. Gray doesn’t make his “your boyfriend” comment, the couple’s past is only referred to as “some history” so their romantic involvement is pretty much ambiguous until they kiss, which makes it seem a little out of left field, and their “first date” conversation is cut entirely out of the bungalow scene:
Plus, their kiss is mentioned as hurriedly as possible:
The book totally leaves out Lowery’s kiss attempt:
And the shirt-rolling thing is gone (although I guess it would be a bit tough to word that in a way that made sense to ten-year-olds):
But it does make up for it in unexpected ways that, I’ll be honest, made me squee. People who ship Claire/Owen actually might want to buy this, at least more than people who don’t. For instance, this wasn’t in the movie:
Wow, that picture looks like a JP version of one of those artistic book shots– you know, the ones that just show a single romantic line from Harry Potter through a sepia filter. There’s this, which I’m actually kind of glad didn’t show up in the movie (gotta keep up that feminist cred) but is absolutely adorable nonetheless:
This is the number one reason why I’d recommend any fan to buy this book (and I’m posting the entire section here, but a paper copy might still be worth it for posterity): it includes a full description of the poop scene that never was, and it’s everything that I ever wanted from it. Claire has an “I underestimated you” moment that furthered their romantic development, Owen starts out smearing the poop on her but she takes the initiative and overcomes a personal obstacle, and Owen says that Claire smells like rosebuds and sunshine. I can’t take this, my heart can’t handle that. He thinks she smells like rosebuds and sunshine. Someone put that in a fanfic ASAP.
Also, there’s a bit of a deleted scene where Claire and Owen talk over Blue before they release the raptors. If you ship Claire/ Owen, it’s a sweet little exchange. If you ship Owen/ Blue (and people do; Archive of Our Own is full of examples), it’s a cute moment as well.
The novel does the same thing with Gray and Zach’s relationship– it cuts corners in odd places and makes up for it in deleted scenes. The monorail scene where they talk about their parents’ divorce is cut way down:
But we get a couple of funny deleted scenes as well. Like this one, which is a different and funnier take on the Gyrosphere line scene:
Speaking of the Gyrosphere scene, I’m guessing this was written based on a version of the movie from a couple of months until release, because Jimmy Fallon isn’t in the instructional ride video. In fact, the narrator sounds more like Robert Muldoon than anyone else:
This scene, where the boys are walking through the woods to the old Visitors’ Center, is extended; Gray discusses eating caterpillars to survive (it also leaves in his “root beer in the toilet” line, which I think is one of his best):
By the way, some people in the fan community have been wondering what was up with the abandoned vehicle near the old Center. The book doesn’t tell us how it got there, but it does provide a few new and gory details:
Zach gets a couple more funny one-liners, which personally would have made me like him more from the get-go:
Masrani also gets a few more character insights. This is because of the format– you could never hear his exact thoughts in a movie– but it gives some valuable information. Such as this tidbit:
He may be sympathetic to his workers, he may just really enjoy courting danger, he may think a bit highly of himself, or any combination:
Either way, it’s made pretty clear that the ACU attack scene is a major turning point for his character and that he has to rethink everything when it happens, when in the movie it wasn’t so clear:
Speaking of the ACUs, Hamada gets some background! He’s a former SWAT team leader.
And I didn’t notice this before, but the movie made the most morbid reference to the first film that I could possibly ever imagine. Two drops of blood fall on Hamada’s hand, but they go in opposite directions– just like Malcolm’s water-drop demonstration of chaos theory.
Once again, I was wrong about the order of events and how they concerned the raptors, but at least now the death order has been sorted out by canon and people can stop freaking arguing about it. Delta did not kill Hoskins. She was actually the first to die:
Charlie killed the solider in the back of the van:
And she attacked with Echo, not Blue:
None of the raptors are thrown on grills (again, probably an earlier version of the movie) but Charlie appears to be the one who was killed by being thrown:
Which leaves Echo as the one who got toasted, though in this version she dies– well, I actually don’t know if it’s worse this way or not:
Echo is the one who kills Hoskins, though, so she does get her moment in the spotlight.
Owen has a moment with Blue in front of the Innovation Center right before Indominus shows up, and it’s probably one of their sweetest moments. I wish it had made it into the final cut, because a baby raptor mention is a baby raptor mention, no matter how small:
And it’s confirmed that the raptors have been taught to hunt pigs on the regular, thereby allowing them to sharpen their killer instincts and keep their murdering form in top shape. Nice job, Owen:
Wu makes a bunch of really weird stuff in his lab, including actual Wizard of Oz flying monkeys. I kid you not one bit:
Plus, Stegoceratops shoutout! And possible confirmation that there are indeed Stegoceratops embryos being smuggled out (as well as that Owen doesn’t need to feel bad about dating a dinosaur, because apparently ‘Ceratops isn’t a real dinosaur):
Lowery gets a bit more time in the limelight. We were deprived of additional Lowery, everyone. Riot time? I think it’s riot time.
And a few random tidbits were thrown in. I. rex did indeed unhinge her jaws during the movie, specifically when she bit down on the Gyrosphere:
Owen’s “We do it my way” line wasn’t in the final film, but it was here:
They dropped a perfectly funny line, but to be fair it probably would have cut down some important tension:
The destruction of the Spino skeleton is tragically downplayed, and this momentous event has not been recorded in print for future generations, forcing us to pass on the word of Rexy’s ***-kicking to our children’s children in our own ways:
And finally, in a shocking and plot-changing twist, Claire takes off her heels.
That’s it for the book. I didn’t show you all of the good parts, so you’ll have to buy it and read it yourself to get the full experience, but as you can see it has its ups and downs. There are reasons to buy it and reasons not to, but overall, I think it’s a good investment. You could get it for a younger relative and read it first, at least. Or just walk into Books-A-Million like a boss and buy it for yourself, because someone has to preserve the poop scene. As a generation, we have been shouldered with the responsibility of keeping record of Claire’s poop-smearing, and it’s something that we all must join together and pass on to those who were not alive in this glorious time.
On a final note, if you’re cool and have the same fandoms as me, I hope you’ll appreciate this. Satsuki Kiryuin has her own Raptor Squad. Bam.