DRAGONS

TRUTH, MYTH, AND LEGEND

From many traditions (Babylonian, Greek, Indian, Norse, Chinese), 11 tales plus a brief survey of eight more ``Dragons Around the World'' and a 1916 ``Dragon Poem.'' The adaptations are clear but overly truncated—though the lively details of the British ``The Lambton Worm'' and ``The Mordifor Wyvern'' hold interest. Anderson's sinuous, scaly dragons are in a romantic, finely detailed style, but there's a curious sameness to their wicked eyes and pointy fangs (cf. the imaginative variety Peter Sis brings to Prelutsky's The Dragons Are Singing Tonight, p. 1078). Where funds permit, a visually attractive survey that may lead readers to accounts with more depth. (Folklore/Picture book. 7-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-307-17500-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1993

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Despite missteps, this satisfying follow-up will leave readers hoping for more magical adventures with lovable Jax and...

THE DRAGON THIEF

From the Dragons in a Bag series , Vol. 2

Jaxon and his friends deal with the fallout from the theft of one of the baby dragons in his charge.

As this sequel to Dragons in a Bag (2018) opens, Kavita, the titular dragon thief, introduces elderly Aunty to stolen baby dragon Mo. Thankfully, Aunty knows someone in Queens who can help return Mo to the realm of magic. Meanwhile, and in alternating first-person chapters, Jax is trying to find Kavi and Mo, as Mo’s siblings have grown ill as a result of the separation, as has Ma, Jax’s magical mentor and grandmother figure. Jax again teams up with his best friend and Kavi’s older brother, Vik. A third is added to their crew with “huge” Kenny, “the biggest kid in [their] class.” (Unfortunately, much is made of Kenny’s size, which feels gratuitous and unkind.) Eventually the trio finds Kavi, Aunty, and Mo, who’ve been abducted by a magical con artist. All’s well that ends well when Sis, the powerful guardian of the magic realm, shows up, but readers may wonder why the narrative decides to grapple with her choice not to intervene in injustice in our world. Her argument that human-caused problems are for humans to solve feels undeveloped, especially in the face of a massive injustice like the trans-Atlantic slave trade (mentioned during the climax and at no other point). Jax is black; Vik, Kavi, and Aunty are Indian American (though Aunty has African ancestry as well); and Kenny is white. The rest of the cast is diverse as well.

Despite missteps, this satisfying follow-up will leave readers hoping for more magical adventures with lovable Jax and company. (Urban fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-7049-5

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A compromise tale any kid assigned a group project should understand.

NIXIE MAKES WAVES

From the Mermaids to the Rescue series , Vol. 1

In the same world as the Enchanted Pony Academy series, royal merchildren partner with magical seaponies in the elite Royal Mermaid Rescue Crew.

Princess Nixie’s excited for Selection Day, when she and her fellow Rescue Crew School classmates choose a partner from the Enchanted Seapony Academy. Nixie’s long awaited the day she’ll be a full member of the Rescue Crew, and though she doesn’t know which seapony’s the best match for her, she knows who isn’t: Rip, top of the seapony class but disliked for his rigid adherence to rules and preference for work over fun. When the ceremony comes, though, Nixie draws to pick last, leaving her with…Rip. Seeing his distress and confusion at his last-place selection, Nixie does her best to be positive about their partnership. She seeks common ground through shared adventure, but he’d rather study their rule book. Nixie’s nearly ready to refuse the match when she hears a distress call from her two best friends—stranded where they shouldn’t be—and so she rushes to rescue them. Luckily for her, Rip follows and the two work together—combining her flexible thinking-on-her-feet with the valuable information from his scholarship—gaining understanding and becoming a true team. This intelligent treatment of the emotional dynamic helps to mitigate the tendentiously sparkly worldbuilding and thin characterizations. Nixie appears with lavender hair and light skin on the cover; publishing simultaneously are three other titles in the series, each fronted by a different member of the diverse Royal Mermaid Rescue Crew: Cali Plays Fair, Cascadia Saves the Day, and Lana Swims North.

A compromise tale any kid assigned a group project should understand. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-26697-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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