The Dragonsitter's Castle by Josh Lacey and Garry Parsons
|The Dragonsitter's Castle by Josh Lacey and Garry Parsons|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Margaret Young|
|Summary: A delightfully deadpan dragon story which works equally well as a bedtime story for sharing or a read-aloud book for children just starting to make the transition to chapter books.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 58||Date: October 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
When Edward finds his Uncle Morton's dragons at the door, he is quite happy to take a shift at dragon sitting, along with his little sister Emily. His parents, however, are far less happy, and the fact that they are recently divorced only makes things more complicated. It seems that the dragons visit was completely unplanned, and the adults are completely unprepared for the event. The story is told in letters from Eddie to his Uncle, the former detailing the dragons' latest escapade, and the latter writing about one delay after the other. Eddie's mother is getting ready to go away on a yoga retreat and Dad's new girlfriend says absolutely no dragons. What are the children to do? Dad finally gives in, taking the dragons and children to the castle he is renovating in the hopes of striking it rich. Needless to say, nothing goes to plan where dragons are involved and the grown-ups are in for quite a few problems, but things work out quite well from the children's point of view.
The Dragonsitter's Castle is a very short and easy to read to book. I wasn't too sure about the idea of the entire story being told through letters but it worked very well. Not only did it really add to the humour in this case, but it creates perfect text breaks for struggling readers. Even better - this would be ideal for shared reading with the child reading Eddie's letters and the parent reading Uncle Morton's replies. This book worked out a very good length for a bedtime story - there was more to it than a picture book, but not so much that it could not be easily finished in one night. This is also the type of book a young reader could finish themselves in a single sitting - and once you get started - you won't want to put it down. The illustrations are excellent, which makes this all the more suitable for sharing as well as independent reading.
My five year old loved this story and even my eight-year-old had a few laughs. This is non stop comedy with plenty of mischief but there is at least one joke thrown in that is clearly aimed at adults as well. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but in addition to dragons and a castle, it has fireworks, poo and a ruined dinner party. It also has something of families and relationships, and I think many children will relate to some parts of the story. It is a fun story to read aloud, and I have to admit, I enjoyed this almost as much as the children
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You can read more book reviews or buy The Dragonsitter's Castle by Josh Lacey and Garry Parsons at Amazon.com.
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