Monday, November 9, 2015

The Dragonsitter by Josh Lacey, 2012

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'Dear Uncle Morton. You'd better get on a plane right now and come back here. Your dragon has eaten Jemima.'
It had sounded so easy: Edward was going to look after Uncle Morton's unusual pet for a week while he went on holiday. But soon the fridge is empty, the curtains are blazing, and the postman is fleeing down the garden path.

(112 pages)

This is such a cute book! I read it one night when I wasn't tired. Its short size made it perfect for this situation, because I could read the whole thing in one sitting without worrying about staying up all night with a book. I lent it to my middle-school-aged brother, and I think he liked it okay - he didn't really say anything about it, and I think he feels like it's a little too young for him. Even my elementary-school-aged brother thought it was too short, though he also fretted about the fact that it was told in e-mails. I think that disconcerted him.

I hadn't read a little-kid book like this in a very long time, but The Dragonsitter is a lot better than a lot of the rubbish I remember reading when I was younger. It's silly, but in a cute way that still carries a storyline and allows for some real plot. The only real worry I have about the content of the book is toward the beginning: the dragon eats Edward's little sister's rabbit. This rather violent act might completely pass by most people as just another one of the dragon's wild acts, but I could see some of the more tender-hearted kids getting pretty upset over the idea that a cute little bunny got eaten. In fact, I think I was one of those tender-hearted kids. The death of anyone, no matter what species, cut me deeply, to the point where I was literally traumatized by the death of a minor feline character in Lassie Come-Home (some consider that one of the more kid-friendly dog books; I spent years considering it one of the saddest books I'd ever read). My only real concern with The Dragonsitter is that some other poor little kid will be as sensitive as I was, and come away sad. You know the kids in your life better than I do, though - if they're part of the 99% of the kids who won't care about Jemima the rabbit, then I definitely suggest giving The Dragonsitter a try with them. It's a fun little story, and it's even got sequels for the kids who become particularly attached to Edward and the dragon!

Disclaimer: I got a complementary ARC of this book at KidLitCon (in preparation for the hardback release).

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