March 2, 2010

Kenny & the Dragon - by Tony DiTerlizzi

This is a delightful short story about a young rabbit named Kenny, his family, and his best friend in the whole wide world, who just happens to be a lonely dragon.  Grahame, the dragon, has just woken up after a long, long slumber in a volcano, and has found a delightful cave on Kenny's family farm.  The villagers, frightened of the strange beast, have persuaded the king to send his best dragon slayer to kill the creature.  In the end it is young Kenny who must try to protect his friend and calm the angry crowds.  Can he pull off a miracle before it's too late?

My favorite part of the book is the dragon himself, who is far more interested in writing poetry and discussing fine cooking than in fighting.  I listened to the audiobook on CD from the library, which was a delightful way to experience the story.  The pictures in the book, hand-sketched by the author, make a traditional reading just as pleasant, if not more so.

This is a very enjoyable retelling of the classic story The Reluctant Dragon, by Kenneth Grahame (author of The Wind in the Willows).  The author gives the original a nod through his creative use of names (Kenneth Rabbit and Grahame Dragon).  This is a fun, suspenseful, inspirational story, and is not to be missed!  [Warning:  Some vocabulary may have you running to your dictionary, but that's not such a bad thing, you know!]

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