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Kenny & the Dragon Hardcover – August 5, 2008


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Kenny & the Dragon + A Hero for WondLa (The Search for WondLa) + The Search for WondLa
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Bluestem Book Awards 2011
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (August 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416939776
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416939771
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #620,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–6—Kenny's father brings home a fearsome description of an enormous creature: "...one of them flying things that eats pretty maidens and burns castles to the ground." Instead of being frightened, Kenny, a curious and well-read rabbit, wants to meet the beast. His father, not too bright in some ways but quite sensible in others, is sure Kenny can handle it, but Kenny's no-nonsense mother insists, "Dishes and homework first." What follows is a delightful riff on Kenneth Grahame's classic The Reluctant Dragon, starring a dragon named Grahame that can delicately torch crème brûlée with the flames from his left nostril and has no interest in killing anyone. Before long, rumors and fear create a mob mentality among the local townspeople, and Kenny has to come up with a plan to prevent the retired dragon slayer (George, of course) from killing Grahame. This is a fun story with substance. At one point, Kenny wonders, "How can they want someone killed they don't even know?... How can George just blindly do whatever the king says?" The civilizing influence of literature is another theme that has relevance for today's readers. Lively pencil sketches add to the charm. The author's reputation will enhance the popularity of this solid fantasy.—Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Tony DiTerlizzi is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator who has been creating books with Simon & Schuster for more than a decade. From his fanciful picture books like Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure, Adventure of Meno (with his wife, Angela), and The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), to chapter books like Kenny and The Dragon and The Search for WondLa, Tony always imbues his stories with a rich imagination. His middle grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Holly Black), has sold millions of copies, been adapted into a feature film, and has been translated in more than thirty countries. You can visit him at DiTerlizzi.com.

More About the Author

THE FANTASTIC WORLDS OF TONY DITERLIZZI

New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, Tony DiTerlizzi, has been creating books for over a decade. From his fanciful picture books like "Jimmy Zangwow's Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure", "Ted" and "The Spider & The Fly" (a Caldecott Honor book), to chapter books like "Kenny and The Dragon" and the WondLa trilogy, Tony always imbues his stories with a rich imagination.

With Holly Black, he created the middle-grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles, which has sold millions of copies, been adapted into a feature film, and has been translated in over thirty countries.

In 2014, he teamed up with Lucasfilm to retell the original Star Wars trilogy in a picture book featuring artwork by Academy award-winning concept artist, Ralph McQuarrie.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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DiTerlizzi has created a wonderful story.
Steven R. McEvoy
Beautiful cover..would love prints; and beautiful story.
LCNanny
Highly recommend it, and a great read for the kids.
Felixc

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Yeazle on September 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What an adorable story. This book is written by Tony DiTerlizzi, who also wrote "The Spiderwick Chronicles", so you know that this author can write. It is a story of a rabbit named Kenny who befriends a peace-loving dragon. Seems simple enough, except that the other villagers have some misconceptions of what a dragon is and decide to dispatch the dragon. My 8-year-old dragon loving son found the story very enjoyable. He could have read the story himself, but since his 6-year-old sister also wanted to hear the story, I read it to them. My daughter also throughly enjoyed the story. Her only complaint was "there should have been more girls in the book" :) The chapters are short so that makes it nice when reading outloud. (Personally, I could not stop at just 1 chapter, I think I enjoyed reading this story as much as my kids enjoyed hearing it)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ChristineMM TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Are you familiar with the legend, St. George and the Dragon? If you don't know the older legend, perhaps you have read "The Reluctant Dragon" was written by Kenneth Grahame (the author who penned "The Wind in the Willows" about a hundred years ago. The general story is about a peaceful dragon who comes to live in a village. Since dragons are usually dangerous beasts the villagers and King want the dragon slayed. However the person who is to kill the dragon, George, realizes the dragon is peaceful and fakes the killing then reveals that the dragon is peaceful.

Tony DiTerlizzi retells the story in more modern times yet still in a fantasy world. In DiTerlizzi's version the main character Kenny is a schoolboy, or actually, a rabbit who dresses in human clothes and acts like a human. All the characters in this book are animals living as humans. Kenny is a gifted child, a bookworm consumed with teaching himself anything and everything that interests him. Kenny is different than his peers, due to his intelligence. His best friend is an elderly bookstore owner named George, who retired from some kind of work with the King.

The dragon, named Grahame, comes to live on Kenny's family's farm. Kenny befriends the dragon, who in addition to being friendly and peaceful also loves books and is an autodidact, who loves Shakespeare and can even play the piano. The dragon is having a splendid life until the villagers find out of his existence and the King calls for his execution. The rest goes along as with the tale as penned by Kenneth Grahame.

The story moves at a fast pace and never slows down. I was hooked into the story and wanted to find out the outcome.

The publisher states this book is for independent reading by children of ages 9-12.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this charming book for young readers, a little rabbit named Kenny befriends a dragon, and then has to convince the terrified villagers that this particular wyrm has no plans to put them or their crops on the menu.

The dragon lived on Shepard's Hill
Just near the Parrish Creek
Young Kenny Rabbit ventured near
So he could sneak a peek

Grahame was the dragon's name
Like crackers with an "e"
He and Kenny soon were friends
And bonded happily

But far too soon the news got out
Spread by the town naysayer
The King issued a summons for
His trusted dragon slayer

So what on earth can Kenny do?
Is Grahame to be slain?
The rabbit has to find a way
To stop the hate campaign

According to the English tale
St. George defeats his dragon
But hopefully this time around
There won't be a toe tag on

Told in simple language and beautifully illustrated, this book would be fun reading for the 8 to 10 age group. It emphasizes the benefits of reading and creative thinking, the dangers of jumping to conclusions, while stressing the importance of a support network of family and friends.

(Note: I did think it rather strange that a rabbit who runs a farm and lives near a village of talking animals manages to own a flock of non-talking sheep, but I'll put that down to artistic license and maybe some dumb sheep)

Amanda Richards, September 13, 2008
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J Tyler on August 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Kenny and the Dragon pays homage to some of Disney's finest adventures, such as Robin Hood and the Sword in the Stone. Finely illustrated novels seem to be a thing of the past, but Tony manages to rein in that old feeling found in the illustrated novels of old, like Alice in Wonderland and the Pooh stories. The black and white spot illustrations are beautifully rendered and unmatched in today's chapter books.
The story is upbeat, funny and feel-good in nature. The climax is fun and exactly what you would expect in an animated adventure film, someone needs to pick this story up and get busy on the movie!
I only would have liked to have seen a little more adventure taking place in the middle stretch of the story.
Overall, a wonderful book for younger readers. Sure to become a classic.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on September 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Kenny Rabbit has always been a little different. While most in the tiny farming town of Roundbrook are, indeed, farmers, he is a perpetual bookworm and dreamer, always with one fanciful notion or another in his head. But now it appears that he may be just a little too different for the citizens of Roundbrook - after all, who on earth has a dragon for a best friend?

When the villagers learn of the dragon running loose over the countryside, they immediately designate it a scourge and mark it for imminent extermination, to be carried out by a dragon-slayer! Can Kenny figure out a way to make the villagers see the truth? Can he save his best friend?

KENNY & THE DRAGON is a touching tale of friendship that draws inventively from the classic story of St. George and the dragon. Kenny Rabbit is a protagonist you can't help but root for, and the illustrations in this book are simply adorable. While the prose in KENNY & THE DRAGON is a little cumbersome at times, it is not enough to detract from the charm of the tale, and the lessons taught are an effortless part of the story.

Children will be drawn in by the unique and lovable characters of Kenny Rabbit, Grahame the dragon, and George himself, and take away heartfelt lessons of courage, friendship, and diversity.

Reviewed by: Rebecca Wells
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