Seraphina has a secret. She isn’t all human. In a world where dragons can shape shift and walk around and almost pass as humans, those who aren’t drag...moreSeraphina has a secret. She isn’t all human. In a world where dragons can shape shift and walk around and almost pass as humans, those who aren’t dragons are extremely wary of those that are different. Seraphina’s father has asked that she not draw attention to herself. But thanks to a special circumstance she had to play her flute at the funeral of the prince. And everyone noticed. Now she has to dance around the court politics as well as her secret dragon self to keep ahead of the plots that could potentially ruin herself, her family, and her kingdom. All the while working with Prince Lucian Kiggs, who she is starting to particularly like even though he is engaged to Princess Glisselda, the second heir to the throne and Seraphina’s music pupil and friend.
Wow. That is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this book. Wow. Seraphina is a character that didn’t just stay on the pages of the book. She haunted my dreams and my thoughts as I was drifting in and out of sleep just like those that wander through her garden in the story. I loved how she tried so hard to be herself while trying to juggle the world around her. I could feel her pain and frustration and longing for a normal life. Yet I celebrated when she decided to throw away convention and be herself. And speaking of characters, I loved Kiggs. He was just the right type of person to push and poke and make Seraphina really look at who she is and what she wants to do with her life. And that love triangle! Argh! I hated it so much that I ended up loving it. And this is one of those where I really liked all three people in the triangle. I just couldn’t see any other perfect way for this triangle to settle than how the book played it out. That really took some great skill to manage the strong personalities of all those characters.
And the dragons! They were well done. I enjoyed how the different personalities came through in different ways and with the different characters. I liked seeing how Orma’s personality and insight helped Seraphina. The visions of Seraphina’s mother were particularly insightful. And the descriptions of how they were in human form or in dragon form just made me wish I could put my imagination on a movie screen. In a world over saturated with fantasy and dragon novels, Seraphina has truly stood out.
I don’t know how Rachel Hartman did it, but this is one of those books that will stick with you for days on end! Seriously powerful writing! Too bad I have to wait for the sequel…(less)
One boy learns that dragons love tacos. At one point the question is asked “Hey dragon, why do you guys love tacos so much?” But there is no answer gi...moreOne boy learns that dragons love tacos. At one point the question is asked “Hey dragon, why do you guys love tacos so much?” But there is no answer given. Apparently dragons love tacos because they just do. So the boy goes out of his way to make a whole bunch of tacos for the dragons—to have a taco party. But dragons do not like spicy salsa…so he has to stay away from that. Although that is easier said than done. The “totally mild salsa” has some spicy jalapeno peppers in it…so the dragons end up burning the boy’s house down. But it’s okay because the dragons help build another house while the boy provides tacos for the dragons to eat.
This is an interesting book. I can’t quite get the point as to why dragons like tacos or why the boy would go to so much trouble for the dragons (are they friends? He does have a dragon bedroom…but really?). But it is quirky enough that I enjoyed it. Kids who are especially interested in dragons, tacos, or boys who make a houseful of tacos for a hoard of dragons to eat might enjoy this crazy story. And the fact that it is so bizarre might make it worth a look.(less)
"Henry Alfred Grummorson was the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of King Arthur..." That's 7 greats! On Henry's sixth birthday he w...more"Henry Alfred Grummorson was the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of King Arthur..." That's 7 greats! On Henry's sixth birthday he wakes up, eats breakfast, and heads off for an adventure to fight a dragon. Of course the dragon isn't what Henry expects, so he goes off looking for more adventure. Many monsters later Henry discovers that he has had the best adventure of all without even knowing it.
This is a fun picture book. I like all the extra details--like learning that Henry is the 7th great grandson of King Arthur. But then there are all the details in the illustrations. From dragon scales to tree branches, every aspect of the illustrations are detailed. You can see the detail of an ocean wave or of a monster's iris. Young readers who are interested in the details of a grand adventure will be pleased with this tale.(less)
What is better, for Old MacDonald to have a farm with the typical animals (e-i-e-i-o) or a really big, fire-breathing dragon (e-i-e-i-o)? MacDonald li...moreWhat is better, for Old MacDonald to have a farm with the typical animals (e-i-e-i-o) or a really big, fire-breathing dragon (e-i-e-i-o)? MacDonald likes the dragon (and the animals are a bit bull-headed and stinky), but what is a farm without animals? This is a clever romp through a trational song with a typically hungry dragon. Nice.(less)
A young green dragon wants a book read at bedtime. The book is about a dragon who doesn’t sleep and is therefore a “bright angry red”. The young drago...moreA young green dragon wants a book read at bedtime. The book is about a dragon who doesn’t sleep and is therefore a “bright angry red”. The young dragon enjoyed the book so much that the multiple cries of “again” alerts the adult dragon to read the story all over again (and again). The adult dragon obliges and re-reads; however, he is getting sleepy. The young dragon gets angry that the story isn’t read due to the slumbering dragon and therefore turns red with anger…and blows a hole in the back of the book.
This is a fun book. I like that the story within the story is funny and has a good balance of repetition and continuation of the story so that readers know it is the same story without getting bored by its length. Also, youngsters will enjoy saying the “again!” along with the young dragon. I like the subtle red cheeks when the dragon first starts to get angry. And the details of the two dragons are a nice contrast compared to the sketches and scale-less dragon in the story. Plus the way the text in the story move around once the young dragon starts getting angry adds some dramatic lines to the illustrations. Fun story.(less)
Crispin was excited. He is about to turn seven. And when a dragon turns seven he is finally able to breathe fire. Crispin’s birthday comes and goes…bu...moreCrispin was excited. He is about to turn seven. And when a dragon turns seven he is finally able to breathe fire. Crispin’s birthday comes and goes…but Crispin can’t breathe fire. What is worse is that he not only can’t breathe fire instead he breathes other things. Things like whipped cream or band-aids. Crispin is so sad that he goes away so that he won’t be a disgrace to his family. While he is away from home he comes across a knight named Sir George. The knight looks pretty scared but is determined to fight him. Crispin breathes bubbles on Sir George. Then Sir George tries to help Crispin, because Sir George’s father wants him to fight a typical dragon that breathes fire. But as they try to figure out how to get Crispin to breathe fire, they become friends. Sir George takes Crispin home to his dragon family. Even when Sir George’s father comes…Crispin shows that not being a typical dragon can sometimes be the best type of dragon.
My nephew totally laughed out loud when I read this story to him. He loved when Crispin would breathe something crazy. And the dragon family and Sir George and his father illustrated with a lot of personality (the tortoise-shell-colored glasses on Crispin’s dad are particularly fun). Mostly this is a fun story about how being yourself (even if that self breathes teddy bears instead of fire) is okay, and sometimes better than okay. Fun book. And I could totally use this book in a few different story times. Which will be loads of fun.(less)
A family of crocodiles played together in the water…except for one little crocodile. There was one who didn’t like water at all. He wanted to play wit...moreA family of crocodiles played together in the water…except for one little crocodile. There was one who didn’t like water at all. He wanted to play with the rest of the family, but they liked playing in the water and he just didn’t enjoy being wet. Eventually the little crocodile bought a swim ring so he could stay floating while swimming. But even with a swimming ring it was hard to play with the rest of the family as they dove and splashed about. Eventually the crocodile decided to try swimming without the swim ring one last time…but he really didn’t like that. But then…something happened and the little crocodile realized that perhaps he wasn’t really made for swimming…and that just might be okay after all.
This is a great book! Seriously. I really liked this one. I loved how I had no idea where the story was going until I got there. I liked how the little crocodile kept trying to figure out ways to be with his family and to swim with them (since that is the one thing that they really, really like to do). I love how the illustrations are all greens and blues (for the crocodiles and the water) with just a few splashes of red (like the swim ring). And once I was finished reading the book I even loved the fun endpages and how they give a little extra tidbits for the story. All in all this is a fun book that I think would be really fun to read at story time. I would be interested to see what all the young kiddos think about this young crocodile and his aversion to water.(less)