Dragonsitter Trouble by Josh Lacey
|Dragonsitter Trouble by Josh Lacey|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A welcome 2-in-1 from a series that is so matter-of-fact about dragons, it relies solely on the troubles they can cause being humorous – which they are in these instances.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 160||Date: June 2015|
|Publisher: Andersen Press|
|External links: Author's website|
You don't need me to tell you what it's like when your uncle owns two dragons. He's the pig-headed type who has a mummy and baby dragon living with him, and he must live on a remote island off Scotland, and he must spend half the time hunting the world of dragons in Outer Mongolia, or searching for the yeti, so that trouble starts from the very moment you arrive with your mother and sister to housesit for him – there's no food, the dragons are pooing everywhere and you can't even use the front door properly because he didn't leave the key in an obvious place. Still, that's nothing compared to when the neighbouring farmer gets his guns trained on the dragons when he accuses them of stealing his sheep… Or how about when your big birthday party is here, and the magician is booked – and the two dragons come to stay, because somebody else with the talent to care for them has the hots for your mother…
This book surprised me, in that I had never heard of the series, only to find there are several titles already out. There are five individual novels, the first three have since been bundled up under one title, and this is a compilation of books four and five under a new name – oh, and there's a sixth to turn up somewhen, too. What this all means is that we're jumping onto a firmly established franchise, and with Josh Lacey at the helm it's probably going to be fun all the way, but is the leap on to this particular moving bus a safe one to make?
Well, yes and no. I did have to pause and recap who was who and what was what a little to begin with. For fabulous Mongolian creatures there is a distinct lack of personality about the dragons, both mother and son, and a very blasé attitude from the people who have been allowed to come into contact with them. If the truth be told, there was not enough regarding the beasts in either of these volumes – the first obviously has them wrongly accused of sheep rustling, and even though they have a part in finding the truth I could have done with seeing more of them, and the second story is equally slight, regarding the build-up to the birthday and the shenanigans at the party.
There's also a lot of character from someone we never actually see – Uncle Morton, a man who seems to spend a fortune on cancelled train tickets, and delayed plane flights, as he interacts from a remote distance with Eddie our main character and the dragons. I did expect the story to be a little hampered by being entirely in email conversations between Morton and Eddie, but in fact the narrative style they both contribute to is warm, open, easy to understand for the under-nines, and gives an immediacy to the telling that the audience would appreciate. What's more, the whole world is padded out with other things – pictures, newspaper cuttings, glimpses of Morton's jetsetting life – and the whole book is now boosted by quizzes, activities and more, to keep it in hand just a few hours longer. So while the stories are a little weak for my adult taste, and the series lacking some mystique and wonder considering the creatures involved, the books are only going to be welcome on many shelves.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
How to Speak Spook (and Stay Alive) by Ally Kennen is bound to go down well with the same audience, as is Super-Loud Sam by Jo Simmons.
You can read more book reviews or buy Dragonsitter Trouble by Josh Lacey at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Dragonsitter Trouble by Josh Lacey at Amazon.com.
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