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Posts Tagged ‘Dragons’

The Bookworm by Debi Gliori

August 22, 2019 Comments off

bookwormThe Bookworm by Debi Gliori. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019.

Three of my favourite things about picture books – pets, imagination and reading, are covered in this delightful creation by Debi Gliori.

Max wants a pet but his parents are reticent. There is a baby in the house that does all the less likeable things that pets do. Max is persistent and settles on a worm but his is a special worm, not just a book worm but something from the soul of childhood imagination – a dragon.

Excellent illustrations with a simple easy to read text. The ideal book for juniors and pre schoolers.

The Fork, The Witch and the Worm. Tales from Alagaesia by Christopher Paolini.

December 31, 2018 Comments off

fork witch wormThe Fork, The Witch and the Worm. Tales from Alagaesia by Christopher Paolini. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2018.

I have loved dragon stories since I first read the Hobbit too many decades ago. The fact that I am still reading about dragons pleases me immensely and this addition to the tales of Eragon and the Dragon Riders is superb.

It is four tales really, all based around the magical world of Alagaesia in which Eragon and his dragon Saphira appear but are not main characters. The tales emanate from Eragon’s home on Mount Arnour and feature characters that fans of the Inheritance Cycle have read before.

I am only going to allude to the final story about the Worm which is another name for a dragon, in this case it is Vermund The Grim, a bloodthirsty destructive and powerful dragon.

Vermund attacks, devours and practically destroys the valley of the Horned Skgaro. They are a strong tribe with horns growing on their heads but find they have no answer to Vermund.

Ilgra is a strong determined character who loses her father and all her possessions in a brilliantly described attack on the Skgaro by Vermund. My hackles were raised and so will yours. Ilgra plots to kill Vermund while he is sleeping on  the Kulkaras mountains by thrusting her spear into his big red eye. Can she do it? Read it and find out.

Behind all Ilgra’s determination lies something  deeper – “are there some things in life that can never be changed?”  and is revenge worth it?

Great cover, a dragon wrapped around a mountain.

Eragon has many fans in New Zealand, the novel sold 42,000 copies here so this will also be popular. Read it over the holidays, it takes you to another land.

Dragons Under my Bed by Kathy Bee, Illus. by Lisa Allen.

July 31, 2017 Comments off

dragon bedDragons Under my Bed by Kathy Bee, Illus. by Lisa Allen. Pub. Duck Creek Pres, 2017.

Something happens in my room at night. Straight after Mum turns out the light” Heck we all know that is true and like the little boy in this story it pays to have a good story to explain what happens.

Yes it is dragons under the bed who come out and have enormous fun creating a hellava mess until mum comes back to see what the kerfuffle is.

A picture book from the song Dragons under the Bed from well known singer/songwriter Kathy Bee. You can download the song from this book and sing along or you can read it aloud instead.

It has the added advantage of easing childhood fears of a monster under the bed  especially knowing that the dragons are having such fun.

Lisa Allen has illustrated the song and brought it to visual life. The dragons are brazen, puffing smoke, firing arrows, throwing clothes around, emptying the wardrobe and all sorts of mischief. The little boy is as innocent as the day is long and of course has imagination

But we know who is really to blame.

Worth every cent of 20 bucks from  www.kathbee.nz

There is no Dragon in this Story by Lou Carter and Deborah Allwright.

July 23, 2017 Comments off

no dragonThere is no Dragon in this Story by Lou Carter and Deborah Allwright. Pub.Bloomsbury, 2017.

I like dragons but I am afraid they are not always the good guys in children’s stories. They maybe in The Game of Thrones but I haven’t seen the ending yet.

The dragon in this excellent story for juniors and older fans of traditional stories, is sick of being the villain who captures a princess and fights a knight who becomes a hero. Fair enough not all dragons are tarred with the same brush and so it is with this one.

After trying to get into a number of stories involving the Gingerbread Man, the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, Pinocchio and Hansel and Gretel, and been told that “there is no dragon in this story”, dragon is fed up. He needs acceptance.

Jack and the Beanstalk gives him his big chance. See if he takes it.

Easy dialogue, best read aloud, with a chance for children to interact with the reader and the story. Illustrations are big, colourful and enhance the story line, especially the facial expressions of the dragon. Other traditional characters are easily recognisable.

An excellent publication out in August for $24.99NZ.

Jorie and the Magic Stones by A.H. Richardson.

June 19, 2017 Comments off

JorieJorie and the Magic Stones by A.H. Richardson. Imprint. Serano Press Washburn Tennessee, 2015.

This is a fantasy story for children between 8-12 years. It has dragons, a magic book, a cat that can talk and a girl hero with hair of fire and bright green eyes.

Her name is Jorie and she is not aware of her heritage until she goes to stay with her aunt Letty in a big house with a tarn or deep glacial lake within view of the house. On her first night in the house she finds an old book which tells a history that she is going to become involved with.

Like all good fantasy stories there is a fantasy land called Cabrynthius that was once ruled by Maalog Doonan through the power of three magic stones. The stones are now missing  but it has been prophesised that a Child with Hair of Fire will return to find the stones and restore the balance of power in Cabrynthius.

In the interim period a baddy called Fodomalk from the neighbouring land of Shyloxia who can turn into a dragon is seeking the stones to enhance his own power.

It is down to Jorie and her friend Rufus to find the stones and defeat the baddies.

Written in short chapters in a lofty writing style, this novel is for the gifted reader.

I read it to my granddaughters and they related well to Jorie. Great cover.

 

Dragon Knight by Kyle Mewburn & Donovan Bixley.

March 17, 2015 Comments off

dragon knightDragon Knight by Kyle Mewburn & Donovan Bixley. Pub. Scholastic, 2015.

When I read this short easy to read novel with illustrations that are designed for maximum fun I thought, great, a book that reluctant readers or slow readers at primary level can have fun devouring, especially boys.

Kyle Mewburn provides a written text that is perfect for fun. Ogres that fart, shape changers that are human and dragons at the same time, villains that deserve to be beaten and a hero that doesn’t win all t6he time but impresses with his bravery and fair play.

Merek is a boy who can shape shift into a dragon and other creatures, his parents can also do this. he wants to become a knight but isn’t confident about it. The rogue of the novel is  a beastly boy called Percy Crumble and there is a girl posing as a boy.

At the beginning of this Medieval fantasy there is a map of the village and castle where Merek and his family live. It has places named The Fruit and Nut Black forest, Grist’s Mill and the Route Canal. Great fun for adults too, many will remember the River Phoenix.

Donovan Bixley shows his immense talent and great versatility with the illustrations which are superb black and white drawings. I hope this becomes a series like their earlier effort Dinosaur Rescue.

Lets get those reluctant boys reading. This book is a great start.

The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler

March 13, 2014 Comments off

forbidden libraryThe Forbidden Library by Django Wexler. Pub. Random House, 2014.

Just read the Uncorrected Book Proof of this new fantasy novel for intermediate and older readers and discovered it to be the most unique idea I have read for sometime. You get the impression that the author with the impressive name of Django Wexler, is well versed in fantasy writing.

Young Alice overhears a threatening conversation between her father and someone she discovers to be a yellow and black fairy by the name of Vespidian. Her father immediately announces that he is taking a voyage to South America and the ship is lost at sea. Alice’s house is sold and she is sent to stay with her uncle a quirky character called Geryon.

The house she lives in is run by magical servants that Alice never sees and her only contact is with a strange girl named Emma and a hairy manservant  named Mr Black.

Behind the house is a huge library and Alice just has to look inside. She follows a  talking cat named Ashes and explores the dusty shelves and rooms. Soon she is in trouble. A boy named Isaac shows her a book, which she starts to read then disappears inside the book as a character. After a bloodcurdling escape from death when chased by creatures called swarmers, Alice finds herself back in bed.

Is it a dream? No. It is certainly magic. Alice then meets her uncle Geryon who informs her she is a Reader, with a special power to detect magic in books, and she learns her uncle and the black and yellow fairy both want to find a book with a dragon in it. A dragon that Alice has a special link with. Will she find it before anyone else and what is it’s power?

Interested? Well get it and read it. You will be amazed. Well written, short chapters, complicated yet easy to understand without the myriad of characters that often inhabit fantasy novels.

The book had pages set aside for illustrations that were not shown. I hope they are in colour because there are special scenes in this novel that demand good pictures.