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When a Dragon Moves In Hardcover – May 1, 2011
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"Moore has a light, sure touch, and she gives McWilliam (I Need My Monster) plenty of room to exercise his considerable gifts for operatic expressiveness and expertly choreographed physical humor." Publishers Weekly (March 14, 2011)
"Warmly caricatured people, cinematic pacing, and gleaming pages give this a look that is just short of animation itself. This is a crowd-pleasing merger of sly text and pictures that will tickle many a funny bone. Highly recommended." —Library Media Connection (October 2011)
About the Author
Jodi Moore is a freelance magazine writer and has worked as chief contributing editor of the Promo Network. She lives in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania. Howard McWilliam is the illustrator of the critically acclaimed I Need My Monster. He was chosen as National Young Cartoonist of the Year at the age of 12. A regular cover artist for the Week magazine, he also illustrates for the Sunday Telegraph, Moneyweek, and Outdoor Life.
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Top Customer Reviews
Until I read this book to them.... Both kids were fascinated from the very first page, and had me re-read sections while they looked at, and touched the pictures.
The illustrations are magical, and the story is appealing on many levels.
This one is a winner! I know because it's the very first book that my children want me to read to them over and over... And I love the artwork!
Two thumbs up!
Synopsis: A little boy and his family spend a relaxing day at the beach until a dragon moves into the boy's sandcastle. At first, the boy enjoys his new friend. The dragon toasts marshmallows, flies a kite and scares away bullies. Things start to go wrong when the boy tries to convince his family that there is a dragon. No one believes him and he must take the blame for the dragon's pranks.
Overall thoughts: Jodi Moore's debut book is a whimsical look at family life and a little boy's need for attention. The large red dragon, portrayed vividly by Howard McWilliam's illustrations, is both mischievous and lovable. The reader is left to decide if the dragon is real or only a product of a boy's vivid imagination. McWilliam's artwork provides reasonable explanations for the dragon's antics, if we choose to take them. But perhaps on a warm summer day, it's more fun to let our imaginations run wild, and believe that if we build a perfect sandcastle, a dragon will move in. Moore has built the perfect story for a child's imagination to move in.
This book made my kids laugh so loudly, they made me laugh! It also engaged their curious nature by allowing them to search for different typical beach items that could be used to help the boy make-believe that there really was a dragon living in his sandcastle.
We also built sand castles that day in science and during rest time I put little dragon figures in the castles we made - they LOVED this book. It facilitated independent and creative learning and is still on the daily request list over 2 months later. Great job!
What I didn't like about the story: The dragon is the product of an imaginative little boy. After building a sand castle the dragon decides to move into it. Nobody else can see this dragon (because it doesn't exist) yet the boy goes on blaming the dragon for all sorts of things from eating up all the goodies to tossing sand. These terrible choices he makes and blaming the dragon is what I didn't like about the story. I am sure many people will find it amusing but I didn't. I read it to my 9 year old daughter and she didn't care for the story either. But again its being given to a 7 year old boy and he will probably find it hilarious.
The illustrations make this story a true winner. I think the story without the illustrations would not make it very interesting, but the illustrations are GREAT!!! They are so vivid & realistic but adorable!! If you like the illustrations, check out the other children's book he illustrates - I need my Monster (also very good).
We took this book out of the library first and now my 3 yr old daughter keeps asking to read the "dragon" book (we have it on her holiday wish list). She doesn't quite understand the dragon is in the boy's imagination yet, but she still loves it. A reader must really look at the illustrations and understand them to see the dragon isn't real. For example - the boy says he has a dragon feather but a couple pictures before this, you see a feather fall from the sky from a seagull.
Our family gives the book 4 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read it to a kindergarten class; they never moved the entire time. It really kept their attention and imagination.Published 1 month ago by Mondovan
A darling book that has fun pictures and doesn't take an hour to read. My kids love it!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is in my kids list of Top 5 books of all time. We've read over 600 children's books (I know because of my library list of checkouts) and this is one we had to buy... Read morePublished 4 months ago by beachie-keen
Love, love, love this book. My 2.5 year old loves dragons right now but there are few books this simple for a toddler to follow and has a kind dragon vs. Read morePublished 5 months ago by dreamymia
My 4 year old nephew loves this book. i got a stuffed dragon to accompany the giftPublished 6 months ago by VintageDiva