Posts tagged ‘dragons’

UNLIKELY ALLIES

Dragon Lightning: Dragon Dreamer Book 2

Written and illustrated by J.S. Burke

If you read Book One in this series, you probably already love the complex communities of dragons, octopi and squid that you have encountered. These beautifully described creatures introduce their readers to unique habitats in a fantasy world explained in real scientific terms. Readers become immersed in adventures, while learning about real scientific phenomena like volcanoes, lightning and glaciers.

Book Two introduces us to Drakor who is experiencing the red lightning from a volcanic eruption. He lands on a thin piece of ice. Arak, Taron and Dorali are traveling up north on a wooden skiff. They come upon the injured Drakor and rescue the ice dragon. He is mystified by these golden dragons as well as the octopi traveling with them. Each species will teach and learn from each other. The dragon communities are aware that their communities may face extinction. Their octopi friends under the sea fear underwater destruction.

Readers learn about the “might makes right” society of the ice dragons and the democratic, healing ways of the golden dragons. The peaceful octopi must use force to defend themselves against the squid. Principles of science are interwoven with fantasy and philosophy.

Smooth flowing prose accompanied by simple but elegant illustrations mark this tale as a winner for fans of science, fantasy and adventure. Widespread appeal for pre- teens, teens and adult audiences. What adventures await the dragons in Book Three?

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SOME IDEAS TO CHEW ON……

Ping Poo, the Astronomer: A strange discovery

Written by Pierre Moessinger

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Interesting essay of nine pages which presents a discussion of discoveries by Ping Poo, an ancient Chinese astronomer who lived during the Zhou Dynasty in China around 550 A.D. Ping Poo believed that stars held on to the sky like flies on a ceiling. His colleague Li Fu argued that they hung from the sky with strings. One day Ping Poo sees a red glow in his white jade ball. Following a dream, Ping is determined to journey to Mount Yugo to investigate. His friend Li decides to accompany him, When Ping disappears, some peers believe he was pursued by a dragon and drowned in the Yellow River; others theorized that he stole the elixir of immortality and fled to the moon in an effort to escape the anger of the gods. As time passed the two scholars were forgotten. Years later in 1830, two children Lou and Wang discover a linen bundle of paper inscribed with calligraphy. They turn it over to their father, a professor of ancient Chinese. Turns out to be the journals of Ping Poo in which he set forth the hypothesis that the earth is a sphere turning around on its own axis, the first astronomer to do so. At the end of the essay, Moessinger offers some questions for his readers to ponder and answer. As a footnote, the author briefly explains Piaget’s ideas and suggests this book as an introduction to philosophy for children.

Recommended for readers in the eight to thirteen age range, this book is an interesting way to introduce philosophical thought to middle grade children. While the historical backstory is certainly worthwhile, the audience for this book is geared toward the child who likes to apply critical thinking skills to her reading. Youngsters who are looking for a quick read will probably not find this book appealing. Best suited for readers in the ten and up age range.

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THE POWER OF SUGGESTION

The Hungriest Dragon A Tale of Food and Friendship

Written by Kimberly Segraves

Illustrated by Peipei Liu

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Lyric had just moved to a new neighborhood. He goes to the playground daily, but on one is ever there and he has been unable to find a friend. One day Lyric hears a growling noise. A red dragon steps out of the bushes. Frightened, Lyric falls from the slide ladder and finds the dragon standing over him. They strike up a conversation. Lyric invites the dragon to his house, but Dragon-Fire is most interested in meeting his pet cat. When they get to the house, Lyric finds his mother napping and his new friend doing his best to eat his cat, Dolly. Lyric tries to distract the dragon from her objective by enticing her with other types of foods, but nothing seems to work. Then Lyric’s mother wakes up and together they hatch a plot.

This story has a page count under seventy and bright colorful illustrations. It appears to be targeted to elementary school children. A few points in the plot concern me. Lyric goes alone to the playground day after day, his mother is home napping while he is away and he does not wake her when he gets home. It seems strange that there are never any children at the playground; no mention is made of school or other community sites where children gather. No doubt this book might appeal to children who like dragons or those who feel lonely after a new move, but I think the narrative might upset some children to see a pet cat chased and tied up. The idea of a lonely boy finding a friend is a good starting point, but the tale veers off in strange directions. I would recommend that parents and teachers read first and be prepared to answer their children’s questions.

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DWARVES AND DRAGONS

Dingo the Dragon Slayer:Master Zarvin’s Action and Adventure Series #1

Written by M.R. Mathias

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This author has written many short stories and young adult tales about dragons and wizards. In this selection of under one hundred pages, Mathias is aiming toward a wider audience, targeting this book for ages seven and older. There are no illustrations and the text might be a stretch for seven and eight year olds, but I do think that middle grade readers who love fantasy will enjoy the book. The characters are well-developed, the reader rapidly feels their strengths and weaknesses.

Plot centers around Dingo, a dwarf who is the great grandson of Dingo, the Dragon Master who succeeded in roping a young blue dragon. Dingo is far less famous. His job is to guard the vent holes of the cave in which the dwarves of Dropull Mountains live. One day Dingo encounters a human heading toward the cave. The old man urges Dingo to abandon his post and follow him. Reluctantly agreeing to do so, Dingo discovers a dragon wants to lay her eggs in their shaft. He must warn the king.

So the adventure is set for Dingo to somehow convince the dragon to abandon her plan. How will the little dwarf succeed in that monumental task to save his people.? Who is the mysterious old man who suddenly appears to warn them.

Readers who enjoy dragons, magic, dwarves and adventure will enjoy this book. Also makes a good classroom read aloud choice as the chapters are fairly short. Reluctant readers will find the book interesting and appealing .

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The Knights Before Christmas – Book Review Blitz

My Book Review…….

The Knights Before Christmas

Written by Joan Holub

Illustrated by Scott Magoon

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A very clever version of a Christmas tale base on the poem, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas. I was immediately drawn to it by the cover and clever play on words in the title. Who can resist a bright and vividly illustrated picture book read aloud? The book’s large size makes it perfect for toddlers and preschoolers to hold, while the clever conversation among the knights provides a humorous and modern version of the Christmas classic for older siblings.

Brave Knight, Silent Knight and Polite Knight are entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the king’s castle. On Christmas Eve, a stranger in a red suit appears accompanied by eight dragons seeking a chimney to enter. Of course a castle does not have a chimney. Santa remains undaunted and determined to enter and leave his Christmas gifts, while the three knights redouble their efforts to repel the invasion. Who will win the battle?

I believe this book is destined to become a new Christmas favorite among teachers and parents of preschoolers and primary grade readers. Available in kindle and hardcover editions.

 

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub Scott Magoon 9780805099324 image copy 2

About the Book

Title: The Knights Before Christmas | Author: Joan Holub | Illustrator: Scott Magoon | Publication Date: September 8, 2015 | Publisher: Macmillan / Henry Holt | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 4 to 8

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Book Description:

‘Twas December 24th, and three brave knights were just settling in for the night when out on the drawbridge, there arose such a clatter! The knights try everything to get rid of this unknown invader (Santa Claus!), a red and white knight with a fleet of dragons . . .

But nothing would stop
their white-whiskered foe.
No matter their efforts,
he just would not go!

This parody of Clement Clarke Moore’s well-known poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas is kid-friendly, clever, and just plain silly. Sure to become a holiday classic of a different kind!

 

Sneak Peek

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub Scott Magoon

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub Scott Magoon pages 12

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub Scott Magoon page 26 image

 

The Buzz About the Book

“There’s an excellent interplay between the amusing illustrations and the polished text, with lots of clever jokes for readers to discover in the art. These knights know how to keep the castle safe and the readers entertained”~ Kirkus Reviews

“A royal romp of holiday pratfalls and punnery. Yule love it!” ~ Tom Lichtenheld, bestselling illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

“A royal delight of a book! Sure to become a favorite holiday read-aloud in every household throughout the land!” ~ Judy Schachner, creator of the bestselling Skippyjon Jones

“A great premise…Magoon’s illustrations are vibrant and fun…!” ~ Publishers Weekly

“This rousing, ridiculous medieval “Night Before Christmas” parody jingles with castle- and holiday wordplay. Cheeky digital illustrations brim with good cheer.” ~ Horn Book

 

About the Author: Joan Holub

The Knights Before Christmas Joan Holub SIBA 2015 imageJoan Holub is the author of 140+ books for children including the acclaimed picture books Little Red Writing, The Knights Before Christmas, and Mighty Dads, a New York Times bestseller. Joan co-authors (with Suzanne Williams) three series: Goddess Girls (ages 8-12, Greek mythology with a middle school twist), Grimmtastic Girls (for ages 8-12, fairy tale adventure with a middle school twist), and Heroes in Training (ages 6-11, Greek mythology adventure chapter books). Watch for her upcoming chapter book, What Was Woodstock?, and her board book, This Little President, both available in early 2016!

 

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Copyright © 2015 Mother Daughter Book Reviews, All rights reserved.

BOOK BLITZ FOR MAGELICA’S VOYAGE AND RESCUE

Title: Magelica’s Voyage: Book  One

Author: Louise Courey Nadeau

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At the beginning of the story we meet Magelica who has supposedly been hatched from a sapphire egg. She wants to know where she really came from. Tris, her pet dragon, and she go on a journey through the woods when darkness falls. Magelica calls on her guardian angel to guide them home. A strange creature named Odin retrieves her feather necklace and takes her on a journey in a flying bathtub to an island inhabited by a wizard. Odin teaches her to fly to the Isle of Dreams where she will meet Queen Raya and learn about the lost prince. Magelica realizes that wonderful things happen when you open your heart, use your imagination and trust in love. She no longer worries about where she came from, but now understands that it is more important to know where you are going. Young children will enjoy this book as a read aloud. Older children will find it a challenging independent reader.

 

 

Magelica’s Rescue

The Second Book is the series written by Louise Courey Nadeau

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In her second adventure, Magelica has a dream shortly after being tucked into bed by her guardian, Gri. Magelica dreams that Prince Will is in trouble; she sees him washed ashore on The Island of Darkness. Together with her pet dragon, Tris, she embarks in her magical bathtub on a voyage back to the island where she met Queen Raya and discovered her power to make effective changes once she believed in herself. Magelica does indeed find that the prince is stranded. The people of the kingdom learn how to stay positive and use the power of laughter to achieve their goals. Magelica teaches the prince a song of inspiration. By the time Prince Will is returned home and Magelica is tucked back into her bed, they discover a very special connection that not only will help them to protect each other, but one that might help Magelica discover her true origin and birth family. Future books hold the promise of many new adventures and the seeds of inspiration for Magelica’s readers to achieve great things.

 

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WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Suzie Sparkle and the Dragon Princess

Written by Steve Moran

SuzieSparkle

Princesses, dragons, lizards, time travel, castles and fantasy. What more could a middle grade reader want? This book is targeted for children in grades three to six.

Suzie is sitting in seat 32A feeling bored. Her mother is busy reading, Mom ignores Suzie’s important question, “Why are we flying backwards?” When Suzie gets up to walk to the back of the plane, she notices a group of people dressed in robes and hoods. A young girl asks her if she is bored and would like to play. Suzie says yes, and the adventure begins.

Before she realizes what has happened, Suzie finds herself falling through the sky holding the hand of her new friend, Allaya. Their adventure turns sour when they land short of Aruahua and find themselves on an island inhabited by starved dragons. Allaya apologizes profusely; they are about to die. Suzie uses her ingenuity to trick the dragons in time for rescuers to arrive. Soon Suzie finds out that Allaya is the Princess of Rainbow Island. Allaya and her kingdom believe Suzie to be the lost Dragon Princess. When a series of earthquakes and volcanoes threaten the kingdom, she and Allaya will have to fight for their lives, caught in a death struggle with the forces of nature, the dragons, and the lizards who have arisen again from the sea. Will Suzie be able to escape with her life a second time? Does the kingdom survive? Will Suzie ever get back to her own time and family on twenty-first century earth?

The characters are appealing and interesting, and the plot elements just intricate enough to hold interest and keep the story moving along, although there are a few instances where there might have been a bit less dialogue. A few illustrations would make the read more appealing to third and fourth graders or reluctant readers. This book would make a nice classroom read aloud as the chapters are short and manageable.

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