by Elizabeth Varadan
Illustrated by Brian Belanger
Dragonella is the only dragon at her new school. Other students - trolls, griffins and ogres - are frightened when she breathes fire. The teacher isn't happy when Dragonella's laughter melts the filing cabinet. But when Dragonella's flames save the day during the class party on Legend Day, the teacher and other students learn they shouldn't be quick to judge someone who is different.
Dragonella is a sweet dragon with tons of heart and a character kids are sure to love.
Dragonella has started school, but things are so exciting that she has a hard time controlling her flame. Not only does this cause mishaps in the classroom, but the others are a little frightened. To make matters worse, some of the students start picking on her. It's a lot for Dragonella to handle.
This is a quick, fun adventure with a lot of imagination and heart. Dragonella is a sweet, little dragon who couldn't hurt a fly, and her determination to fit in and enjoy school makes her easy to like from the very first page. As her first mishap occurs, it's hard not to feel sorry for her, especially since her parents are contacted by the school as well. Young readers and listeners will feel for Dragonella, and sympathize with her situation. When the bullying and teasing starts, it's hard not to root for her and wish she makes it through.
Imagination flows freely as not only Dragonella comes to life, but an entire classroom full of trolls, griffins and other fantastical creatures. They are familiar enough for readers to relate to but packed full of fun fantasy to help dreams take flight. The author does a great job at keeping the tale and writing simple enough for readers to follow, while introducing them to a rich world. The important message of bullying weaves into the story nicely, and the ending packs a treat.
It's a great book as either a read-a-loud or for readers who are hitting chapter book stage. I can only hope to see more of Dragonella and her classmates in the future.
And here she is. . .
I have always loved the written word. I can never leave a library or book store empty-handed and have been scribbling stories all my life.
My work for children has been published in Story Friends and Ladybug Magazine, and Skipping Stones Magazine. Even though I write mainly for young people, I’ve also had short stories and flash fiction for adults published in various magazines.
I self-published a middle grade fantasy in 2008, The Fourth wish. (You can learn more about it at my primary blog: Elizabeth Varadan’s Fourth Wish.) My MG mystery — Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls — set in Victorian England and involving Sherlock Holmes, was published in 2015 by MX Publishing. My current picture book, Dragonella, was just released by Belanger Books.
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Visit my picture book, Dragonella, at: Amazon