Kenny & the Dragon - Tony DiTerlizzi

"But Mom! It's a dragon! I wanna go see it before anybody else does!" "Who knows what that thing could do to you? You could get bit, or scratched up, and it's probably carrying all kinds of diseases. Right, Pa?"

I've read a few other things by DiTerlizzi in the past; I like his illustrations for picture books but wasn't extremely impressed by writing in The Spiderwick Chronicles. This one looked kind of fun, though, featuring a rabbit named Kenny and a huge friendly-looking dragon on the cover.

It's a brief book, with nods to other literature throughout the book (notably Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows; the dragon's name, it turns out, is Grahame). Kenny is a voracious reader, and when his father discovers a dragon has taken up residence on their property, Kenny arms himself with pots-and-pans armor and a copy of The King's Royal Bestiary and sets out to meet the beast. What he finds is nothing like the dragons described in the book: Grahame is a renaissance man of sorts who loves literature, playing chess, and rearranging the boulders around his cave. Kenny and Grahame become fast friends, but then the townsfolk find out about the dragon and call for its extermination.

It's a delightful little story; not nearly as meaty as the books it refers to, but simple and to the point. What do you do when everyone's afraid of your best friend? How do you go about finding reconciliation? Granted, this is a work of fantasy, but some of the lessons in it may still be useful.

If it only had more pictures in it, then maybe Ridley would have let me read it to her, too.

Fed to jonathan's brain | October 16, 2008 | Comments (0)


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