If you have a Minecraft fan in the house, chances are you’re well-acquainted with DanTDM’s endlessly upbeat videos on YouTube. DanTDM, AKA The Diamond Minecart, AKA Dan Middleton, has over 13,000,000 subscribers and just finished a recent jaunt to the U.S. on a book tour. (His entire U.K. tour was sold out.)
The book he’s promoting, Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal, is Middleton’s first published graphic novel featuring the same characters he’s known for in his creative Minecraft videos. While the art is a bit unpolished, this adventure will quickly earn a spot on your kids’ favorite books lists due to its easy-to-follow story and familiar Minecraft-inspired characters.
Dan stars in his own adventure alongside his clumsy buddy Dr. Trayaurus, who’s constantly experimenting and constantly messing up. Dan is always there for his friend, though, to help save the day. When a mysterious crystal crashes to Earth, Dan and Trayaurus must race the dastardly Denton to get to the pieces first before he can use the crystal’s power to create an evil clone army.
If you’re used to the stunning artwork of your own graphic novel collection or even the Miyazaki-inspired beauty of the Amulet series, the simple illustrations of Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal might take you aback. Lines are often roughly sketched and colors lack finesse, but more than likely your kids will be unfazed by the art style.
The characters are inspired by DanTDM’s Minecraft videos on his YouTube channel with slightly blocky heads, but otherwise the plain illustrations don’t immediately bring the game to mind. Kids might appreciate the uncomplicated art, however, as it works well with the plot to tell a straightforward, easy-to-follow story.
Young readers will also be fans of the large, textbook-size hardcover book that’s easy for little hands to hold.
If your kids are one of DanTDM’s millions of viewers, picking up Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal is an almost guaranteed way to get them reading. Middleton’s genuine enthusiasm and energy from his videos translates well to getting kids excited about seeing those same familiar characters in a book.
Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal is now available in all major bookstores.
All images © HarperCollins/ DanTDM