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Dear Dragon: A Pen Pal Tale Hardcover – September 6, 2016
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—In this picture book that's written in bouncy rhyme, classrooms at a school for human children and one for dragons are each beginning a combined poetry and pen-pal unit. Blaise Dragomir and George Slair exchange letters, telling each other about their families, relating what's going on in school, and finding out that they have lots in common, without ever realizing that theirs is an interspecies friendship. The game is up at the pen-pal picnic, though, when the friends are at first startled but then just happy to meet at last—and the teachers plan the same trick for next year. Young readers will enjoy being in on the secret that this tale's characters don't know about; adding to the fun are Montalvo's bright, detailed, and at times wonderfully chaotic depictions of childhood. VERDICT Funk's title is perfect for classes undertaking a pen-pal unit, but general picture book collections can benefit from this gentle reminder that kids who look different can still get along.—Henrietta Verma, National Information Standards Organization, Baltimore
"When I was a kid, my best friend was Josh Funk. Now he's becoming a friend to a whole new generation.”--B.J. Novak, author of The New York Times bestseller The Book With No Pictures
* "Montalvo's visual irony skillfully paces alongside Funk's gamboling rhymes, rendering readers' investigation of each spread just as rewarding as the page turns. A playful celebration of difference (and poetry)."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Perfect for classes undertaking a pen-pal unit, but general picture book collections can benefit from this gentle reminder that kids who look different can still get along."--School Library Journal
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Reading this book took me back to my days in elementary school when I had a pen pal that I would write too. It's such an amazing experience to be able to exchange letters with someone via pen and paper. To hear what their world is like and how it's different from yours.
In Dear Dragon, George and Blaise do just that. They are assigned as pen pals for the school year, but not just regular pen pals. Every letter has to rhyme. I loved the twist that Josh incorporates into Dear Dragon. Can you imagine being paired up with a dragon for a pen pal?
I read this book with my five and nine year old and it was such a fun read. They loved the rhymes as well as the letters between George and Blaise. After we read this book we took the time to discuss pen pals (since neither have ever had one), as well as how important letter writing and communication skills are. Basically we took this book and turned it into a lesson and the kids had tons of questions. Once the lesson was finished, they took the time to write a letter themselves. As I mentioned, they don't have pen pals, so instead they wrote a letter to a family member. I mean, who doesn't love receiving a surprise letter in the mail?
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion