From School Library Journal
Grade 2-7-This faux nonfiction title carries echoes of James Gurney's Dinotopia
(Turner, 1992; o.p.) in that it purports to be the actual writings of English dragonologist Ernest Drake. Unlike Dinotopia
, however, this book is not a narrative, but rather an almost encyclopedic treatment of the subject. It delivers on its subtitle and covers every aspect of the study of dragons, treating the magical creatures as if they were real objects of scientific study. The discussion of the different species includes all types of dragons with which children might be familiar, from Chinese dragons to the European ones of the Grimm fairy tales. One particularly fun bit is the dragon alphabet, combined with some ancient runes written in dragon that can be translated. An aspect of the book that will be totally fascinating to children is the natural history of this creature, including diagrams of its skeletal and muscular structures, and even the development of a dragon embryo in the egg. The illustrations, mainly in color, and overall design of the book are appealing, from a foldout map of "Dragons of the World" to the flaps and cutouts throughout. This book will be hugely attractive to children, especially the "Harry Potter" crowd, but it is fragile.-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ
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Gr. 5-8. Purportedly a facsimile of an original book published in 1896, this is a handsome, dryly tongue-in-cheek volume about "the proper study of the dragonologist or student of dragon lore." Replete with large foldout pages, small inset foldouts, and maps showing dragons as indigenous to most parts of the world, the book covers everything from dragon habitats, physiology, and behavior to finding, tracking, taming, and flying them. The pages are sturdy and have an antique look about them, as do the plentiful, mostly full-color illustrations, some of which were contributed by Helen Ward. Appendixes provide advice on setting up a dragonology lab, useful spells and charms, and a history of dragonologists and dragon slayers. There are also ads for equipment, such as the "famous" Draco dragon-whistle, and some practical advice: to wit, wearing special, heat-protective clothing when approaching dragons. All in all, a delightful treatment for readers fascinated by dragons. Sally EstesCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved