Kenny & the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi grabbed by attention at the bookstore for its great cover illustration and secondly I recognized Tony DiTerlizzi of the Spiderwick series. It grabbed me by with the first sentence and kept me pulled in through the entire story. What I think I loved most was how I could visualize reading the story aloud to a group of students and how mesmerized they would be by the story.
Kenny, a young rabbit, happens to live on a farm where a dragon has taken up residence. Kenny expects to get to have an up close look at something he has only read about, kind of like the hummingbird he had studied for a school report. Little does he expect to find a kindred spirit. With Kenny’s love of reading and his active imagination, his only friend prior to the the dragon, Grahame, was a elderly bookstore owner. This same elderly friend, also turns out to be the king’s highest ranked dragon slayer!
As a teacher of intermediate students, finding a chapter book that still has compelling illustrations, has been difficult to do with as much regularity as I would like. This book falls into the niche and I can imagine a teacher of any age-group having fun reading this aloud, complete with the voices.
I think it would be fun to read this book aloud and then share the inspiration picture book The Reluctant Dragon and have fun comparing similarities and differences. It would also be fun to share some of the fairy tales that Kenny and his two friends enjoy so much.
I just had an ah-ha moment that I didn’t have while reading the book, the author of The Reluctant Dragon’s author is Kenneth GRAHAME (maybe that’s not so much of an ah-ha, but a DUH moment).
Tony DiTerlizzi does have a nice blog-my favorite part being his Friday Fan Art work that he posts! What a neat thing for kids to see-authentic children’s artwork posted on an author/illustrator website.