Did you know dragons hate sweet flavors? Or that the Draconic word for ugly is "nurh"? Or that the best place to find a green dragon is behind a waterfall? Any dragon buff worth his or her salt needs to know the ins and outs of these frightful, spectacular creatures. And Sindri Suncatcher, the wizard apprentice narrator of A Practical Guide to Dragons
is just the man for the job. Although he forbids potential readers from opening the book, the insatiably curious will ignore the warning and begin reading Sindri's "scrolls" to learn what the sometimes foolishly fearless kender (small, mischievous hobbit-like man) has learned about dragons.
This gorgeously illustrated book by Lisa Trumbauer will provide hours of absorbed entertainment for humans in search of the nittiest grittiest details about dragons, from anatomy and physiology to combat techniques to society to language to the many types of dragons. Packed with details, it also is infused with sly humor throughout, with many allusions to Sindri's adventures with dragons, as well as to his colorful family (the book is dedicated to Aunt Moonbeam). --Emilie Coulter
From School Library Journal
Grade 3–7—Readers of "Dragonlance: The New Adventures" series (Mirrorstone) will recognize the "inscriber" of this book, an elf-eared "kender" named Sindri Suncatcher. Having gleaned much of his knowledge from a wizard mentor, he begins his book with a general look at the anatomy and life cycle of dragons. The bulk of the work is divided into six-page chapters, each introducing a specific species with a fierce-looking, full-page portrait and descriptions of physical attributes, offspring ("Eggs"), development ("Wyrmlings"), adult behavior, lair, and combat skills. Inset paintings, labeled anatomical sketches, and maps decorate the pages, which are shaded to look like parchment. Readers will learn that red dragons are "ferocious and cruel" and live in volcanoes, blue ones use their lightning breath to cook their food, brass dragons prefer talking to fighting, and gold ones spend most of their lives in human form. Filled with interesting and quirky details, this well-imagined manual is fun to browse. Although readers unfamiliar with Sindri's world may feel lost by references to the character's compatriots and experiences, this offering may appeal to die-hard fantasy fans.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
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