Sunday, March 9, 2014

Kenny and the dragon by Tony DeTerlizzi

I was not going to talk about this book today because I do need to re-read the classic book The Reluctant Dragon so I can better explain the references and storytelling of Kenny and the Dragon but I really want to put this newer version into the hands of a reader so I will leave my discussion of
The Reluctant Dragon for a different post. You could listen to the audio book yourself here.

Kenny and the Dragon is a terrific book and it is another of those little treasures in our library that I kept meaning to read.  I am so glad I bought this book home.

Kenny is a book wise boy and somewhat of a loner.  When his dad announces he has seen a dragon on their property Kenny is immediately curious.  He visits the dragon and discovers all the ideas in his authoritative book are totally wrong.  This dragon called Grahame is peaceful and he enjoys reading, reciting poetry and good food.  Kenny's mum certainly supplies some delicious morsels, once she and he husband also discover Grahame is a gentle soul.

"Spread out on the gingham picnic blanket was a delicious meal of radish souffle, sweet glazed carrots, and parsleyed potatoes ... the creme brulee, torches expertly by Grahame using his left nostril, was delicious."

This idyllic scene is interrupted by the townsfolk, who, on hearing about the dragon immediately set out to destroy this evil, fire-breathing beast.  Leading them into battle is George - Kenny's best friend - who is also the owner of the local bookshop.  In his youth George was a famous dragon slayer and so now the King has summoned him to once more pick up his sword and slay the dragon.

How can Kenny stay friends with George, how can Kenny save Grahame and how will he calm the villagers who are intent on a massacre?

I think Kenny and the Dragon would be a perfect bedtime read-a-loud for children in Grade 2 and up.  I also love the line drawings by Tony DiTerllizzi.

Take time to visit the author web site which includes some of the original illustrations.  You can hear the author talking about this book too.

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