The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell and Davide Ortu (Illustrator)
|The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell and Davide Ortu|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Anne Thompson|
|Summary: A fast paced adventure full of magic and humour with wonderful illustrations and a cast of diverse characters. This cheerful book is a wonderful celebration of the power of stories, reading and libraries. It will probably convert even the most reluctant of readers.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: June 2019|
|Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd|
It is the start of the summer holidays and Kit has plans. These plans involve climbing trees, getting muddy and being outside. Her friends, Josh and Alita, on the other hand want to go to the library. Kit hates reading and can't see the point of books at all but is very reluctantly persuaded to go with the others to the local library. Once there the children meet the librarian and Kit makes an incredible discovery; the librarian is a wizard! Even more incredibly, Kit is a wizard too and she and her friends have an important task. They must save the library…and save the world!
Louie Stowell has written some excellent non-fiction for children in the past but this is her first novel and also the first of a new series. Everything about this is inviting for younger readers. The neon bright cover and the illustrations by Davide Ortu which are used frequently throughout the book contribute greatly to its appeal. However, the story itself starts at a cracking pace and is full of peril and action that will keep readers engrossed and entertained. As a former librarian I let out a cheer (perhaps a quiet one!) when we met the simply wonderful librarian, Faith Braithwaite, who breaks all the lazy stereotypes so often portrayed. Faith and the other librarians are in fact wizards and they are entrusted with caring for both the special books that act as portals to other worlds and for the dragon that sleeps below the library building.
Unfortunately the library is under threat from a property developer who is trying to buy the library so that he can destroy it and build a giant shopping centre instead. The property developer is portrayed as the sort of villain that children, and indeed this adult, like to get the better of and is particularly insufferable. The subsequent battle between the librarian and her new supporters and the odious Mr Salt is exciting and sometimes dangerous with plenty of action. The children have to be brave and resourceful and learn to work together as a team but there is a lot of fun along the way too. There is a strong bond between the three very different children and their contrasting personalities ensure that readers should find a character to identify with. This is great fun, a good introduction to fantasy fiction for younger readers and a book with a valuable core message about the value of books, stories and libraries. I think this would be enjoyed by both newly confident readers and those with a little more experience but could also be read aloud to younger children too. That there are more stories in the pipeline to follow this one is extremely good news.
Thank you to the publishers, Nosy Crow, for providing my review copy. For a slightly shorter story about dragons suitable for emerging readers you may like to try The Dragon's Dentist by John McLay If you are searching for a children's book set in a library I would suggest Dewey: The True Story of a World-famous Library Cat by Vicki Myron and Brett Witter
You can read more book reviews or buy The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell and Davide Ortu (Illustrator) at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell and Davide Ortu (Illustrator) at Amazon.com.
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