Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Beware of dragons in your garden

If your children are suddenly very keen to pitch a tent in the garden and stay out there all night, it might not simply be down to the hot weather. There's a good chance they will have read 'The Boy who Grew Dragons' by Andy Shepherd and are scouring the trees to see what is growing there.
Because anyone reading this lovely book is going to want a pet dragon of their own! (Except the parents, perhaps.)

This is such a charming story about Tomas, who discovers that a strange tree in his grandfather's garden is growing tiny dragons that fit right into your pocket.
What could be a more perfect summer read than this beguiling story about the close bond that quickly develops between Tomas and his dragon, Flicker? And the unfolding trouble as Tomas tries to keep his rather destructive new pet a secret.

In this warm, imaginatively told and very funny story, Flicker is much more gentle than you might expect a dragon to be and totally cute, but he still breathes spurts of fire capable of singeing a lot more than fingers. He can fly. And, as Tomas quickly learns, dragon poo is also fearsomely explosive.

As well as the humour, one of the many strengths of this story is the positive relationships throughout, and not just between Tomas learning how to care for his new, unpredictable pet.

His family are adorable and I love the strong bond between Tomas and his grandfather, and his school friends. So, not surprisingly, soon Tomas and his friends are camping out in the garden so that everyone can have a dragon pet. Let's just say chaos ensues.

The writing is gentle, vivid and very well imagined, and so well complemented by illustrations from Sara Ogilvie throughout, it makes you want to pitch up a tent in Grandad's garden and see if you can't catch a dragon of your own. Be prepared.

Nicki Thornton

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