Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizz

  Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781416939771, 2008

Format: Hardcover, 151 pages

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Fantasy Fiction

What did you like about the book? This whimsical tale of an only child will have young readers avidly turning pages to see what will happen next.  Kenny is a good bunny, he helps out around the house and spends most of his time with his friend, George, the local bookshop owner. Unbeknownst to him, his life is about to change drastically.  As his father brings in the sheep for the day, he stumbles upon a dragon living on their hillside.  For a child with an excellent imagination, this is too good to be true and Kenny sets out to observe this new creature.  To his utter surprise Grahame, the dragon, is a fun loving vegetarian with many of the same interests as himself.  After introductions Kenny brings his family to meet Grahame and they all become fast friends.  To Kenny’s dismay he learns that their town, Roundbrook, is intent on slaying this beast and a knight is sent for this specific purpose. Kenny and Grahame need to use all their skills and friends, to prevent this from happening.  The setting of Roundbrook, a quaint village in a kingdom of days past, is well rendered by the author using both text and illustration.  Both Grahame and Kenny are loveable characters with engaging personalities.  Townsfolk, consisting of an array of anthropomorphized animals, add color and levity to the story.  The theme of not judging a book by its cover is clear and strong throughout the text.  Beautiful pencil illustrations appear randomly throughout the text and delight readers as well as adding to the story.  Short, easy to read chapters will be a hit with struggling readers.  Charming and engaging, this story would be good read-aloud or alone in a cozy spot.

Anything you didn’t like about it? The plot is easy to predict, yet engaging.  

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers in grades 2 and up who enjoy stories about dragons or other titles by DiTerlizzi would enjoy this book.

Who should buy this book? Librarians who have a Spiderwick following or who like to read stories with dragons will find this a useful purchase.  

Where would you shelve it?  Fantasy Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  I feel that this title would reside near the top of a “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon Intermediate School, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: March 6, 2021

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