Thursday 3 April 2014


Here are two new books for the 7-10 age-group - both by writers who have more books in the same series.

THE DRAGONSITTER TAKES OFF by Josh Lacey, illustrated by Garry Parsons.

"Dear Uncle Morton,
I know you don't want to be disturbed, but I have to tell you some very bad news.
Ziggy has disappeared.
Mum says he was asleep on the carpet when she went to bed, but this morning he was nowhere to be seen."

Uncle Morton is staying at an ashram for a week in the hope of finding inner peace. He has left his pet dragon, Ziggy, with Eddie and his mum. This unsettles both the dragon and Eddie's long-suffering mum, and sets in train a series of hilarious problems which an increasingly concerned Eddie relates to his uncle by email - along with requests for help.

This book was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, and is indeed very funny. It's also very well written and tells a good story at just the right pace. Lively illustrations on almost every page add to the pleasure. I especially liked the one of Mum and Ziggy bonding over tea and biscuits.

Publisher: Andersen Press, 2013.

SIR LANCE A-LITTLE by Chris Inns and Dave Woods

Young Sir Lance A-Little is leading a quest, accompanied by the Cowardly Knights of Camelot - Sir Render, Sir Hugo First, Sir Cumference, etc. - plus a minstrel to make songs about their exploits:

"I'm Quaver the Minstrel
And we're on a brave quest.
I'm wearing clean pants
And I've tucked in my vest!"

With a short text, lots of pictures and captions, and a constant stream of verbal jokes, this book had me laughing straight away. There's a cookery-loving wizard who says things like "Abra-Kebabra" and "Hey, Pesto!", an "All Knight Diner", and the "Joust-a-Minute Jousting Tournament - sponsored by Shield and Armour Insurance." Our heroes' final task is to "slay a beast that rhymes with flagon." Now what could that be?

Glorious fun for a wide age-range.

Publisher: Orchard, 2014.



Pippa Goodhart said...

Those look just the sorts of books to get children ENJOYING reading stories!

Penny Dolan said...

Exactly so, Pippa. Kids love books that are friendly and funny and that don't add any pressure to their lives.

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