The Land Before Time: The Illustrated Story is a book adaption of the original story by Jim Razzi. It follows a similar story as the original movie, however it is intended to follow the uncut May 1987 script of the movie; with changed dialogue, cut Sharptooth attack scenes, the original ending before the scenes were rearranged, and a cut scene where the gang find an oasis inhabited by "Crown-heads", and "Gray-noses", among others. The pictures are hand-painted but look similar to the scenes from the film.
The book is split into nine Chapters.
1. The Birth of Littlefoot
2. "Three-horns Don't Play with Long-necks!"
4. Alone and Afraid
5. Littlefoot Finds Friends
6. False Hopes
7. The Oasis
8. Danger Everywhere
9. The Great Valley
Detailed Book Summary
The book starts out with three huge figures standing in gentle rain, waiting patiently by a nest. The raindrops splash against smashed and cracked eggshells, which glisten when lightning strikes across the sky. There is only one egg still whole, which the figures, revealed to be long-necks, are guarding. The two older, wrinkled long-necks look on, while their daughter nudges the egg, worried that it is taking so long to hatch. Suddenly, the egg starts to rock and bounce. The two older longnecks smile at first, but the egg doesn't break open. The mother murmurs that it's a hard birth, and lightning cracks across the sky. The egg starts to bounce again continuously and lurches clear out of its nest, rolling over the mound that surrounds it, and wobbles to a stop by a shallow pond. A hungry claw-hand leaps out of the bushes grabbing the egg, but as it starts to get away the mother swipes it with her strong neck and knocks it to the ground. The claw-hand scurries away, but the egg rolls crazily down a steep hill, going over branches and rocks until it finally plops into a stream. The mother gasps as she sees it start to go over the falls, and disappear into the water. The egg bobs and spins around in whirlpools, and the rushing water slams it against a bed of soft sand. The long-necks rush over to it, and the mother nudges it again, wondering if it is dead. Suddenly a loud crack! comes from the egg, and the three long-necks watch in awe as the baby hatches, sending pieces of shell through the air. The baby is bewildered at first, but relaxes as his mother gives him a loving lick. The grandmother comments on how adorable the baby is, and asks what the mother will call him. The baby's mother swings him onto her back, and he snuggles up to her neck, making a sound that sounds like "Mama". The mother then replies "I will call him Littlefoot", which grandpa long-neck agrees to. A small group of curious animals had surrounded the family and were nodding their heads in approval. As far as they knew, Littlefoot was the last long-neck born in the area. They whispered and gossiped to each other, agreeing that Littlefoot was a good name for the last long-neck.
It is unknown when the rest of the summary will be added.
- Petrie is colored differently in this book. He has a blue head, green eyelids, a pink neck, and black wings. He is seen like this in multiple pieces of old merchandise, so it could be assumed that this was his original design.
- Grandma and Grandpa Longneck's eyes are green and blue in this book, respectively, as opposed to their red-brown eye color in the films.
- Rooter was strangely called an old turtle in this book, despite being a Scolosaurus.
- For compound words such as "Longneck", or "Threehorn", they are written with lowercase letters and a dash between the two words. Ex. long-neck, three-horn, fire-river.
Differences From Movie
- This book gives a more detailed description of Littlefoot's birth, as it shows it from his mother's point of view.
- There is an oasis scene that's not in the film. This scene was seen in the original script, but was cut from the film.
- The book contains the original ending that was originally intended to be in the film, wherein Littlefoot finds the Great Valley on his own, before turning back to save his friends.