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Book of Dragons Hardcover – April 1, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Where have all the dragons gone? Half story, half guide to dragons, Saxton's fanciful title provides just a taste of intrigue and mythology. A dramatic and fiery introduction sets the stage—human aggression has driven the dragons into hiding. Few humans can remember or identify dragon markings and tracks, except for the unnamed narrator's grandpa. After a bit of prodding, Grandpa Bart begins to recount a wild story about his first meeting with a dragon. The text then flashes forward in time (it is revealed that Grandpa Bart's story was actually the narrator recalling the first time he heard it, a time shift that is likely to confuse readers) to when the narrator is a bona fide dragon expert, willing to share his knowledge. The narrator goes on to list where different species of dragons live, with accompanying physiological details for each. Tips on how to train and keep them as pets are also included. Saxton's illustrations, done in pencil, paint, and mixed media, are intricate and eye-catching. In trying to achieve a "just unearthed" guidebook style, Saxton also makes use of a variety of fonts (within each spread) to highlight different kinds of information—one bit of advice about keeping lavender is done in a handwriting style to simulate a quick, jotted-down feeling. While this doesn't make for a uniform layout, the book does have an interactive appeal, as readers can speculate on the adventures that led to that information. VERDICT The mix of a story and guide format will appeal to readers who have an interest in fantasy but are reluctant to pick up a large volume. A good addition to the picture books for older readers section.—Kris Hickey, Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH
About the Author
Patricia Saxton is a fine artist, illustrator and graphic designer, and the owner of Saxton Studio in Summit, New Jersey. More of her work can be found at saxtonstudio.com.
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