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Everywhere dragons

…at least, everywhere in the March/April Magazine! These four new dragon-themed books are all reviewed in that issue, offering something for dragon fans of several different age groups. Consider them additions to our dragon-centric fantasy booklist.

florian_how to draw a dragonFor preschool- and primary-aged kids, there’s author/illustrator Douglas Florian’s How to Draw a Dragon (Simon/Beach Lane, April 2015). Less a how-to guide than a celebration of creativity — and dragons, of course — it gives both practical drawing advice (“Draw your dragon’s pointed spines / using lots of jagged lines”) and Florian’s patented poetic silliness (“Dragon fire has reds and yellows, / and it’s good to toast marshmallows”). Mixed-media collage art with a childlike sensibility rounds out this appealing book.

yep_dragon's guide to care and feeding of humansAuthor Laurence Yep knows his dragons. He hilariously revisits the topic in his latest book for intermediate readers, A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans (Crown, March 2015), cowritten with Joanne Ryder and illustrated by Mary GrandPré. Refined Miss Drake and her scrappy new pet Winnie are having a power struggle over Winnie’s training: Winnie (a human) seems to think she is the owner and Miss Drake (a dragon) is the pet. They continue to butt heads, but there are more important things at stake — a magical creature called a pemburu could destroy San Francisco unless the pair can stop it.

Two dragon-themed YA sequels appear in this issue:

Shadowhartman_shadow scale Scale (Random House, March 2015) is the sequel to Rachel Hartman’s 2013 BGHB Fiction Honor Book Seraphina. Seraphina and a fellow half-dragon (or ityasaari) named Abdo search for others like them. They hope that, together, the psychically talented ityasaari will be able to establish a dragon-proof psychic defense. In their travels, Seraphina and Abdo learn to their horror that malevolent half-dragon Jannoula is manipulating the minds of many ityasaari. Plenty of suspense and a thoughtfully developed dragon-centered world make this a captivating read.

johnston_prairie fireE. K. Johnston’s gripping Prairie Fire (Carolrhoda Lab, March 2015) picks up where The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim left off: Owen and his friend Siobhan have graduated from high school and enlisted in the Oil Watch, helping to defend carbon resources from dragons. However, life in the Oil Watch is not exactly what they anticipated: they are stationed at a remote and dangerous location, and burns Siobhan sustained in the first book compromise her abilities.

For even more dragon-themed YA, see this list.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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