My 5-year old is finally at the age where she enjoys having longer books read to her and I have loved seeing the interpretation of stories through her eyes. She often recites back what I’ve read to her and asks questions about the plot. From a parental point of view, I believe reading books increases vocabulary and the imagination, especially since pictures are rare once you leave the world of picture books.
When reading The Dragon of the Month Club, by Iain Reading, I was able to see the excitement she had for the dragons while also questioning the actions of people in the book. In all honesty and without giving away anything in the book, I do feel the bullies introduced were too hostile for a 5-year old to understand. I found myself paraphrasing and turning the sequence of events into a G-rated version. I think this section would be better interpreted by a child over the age of 8 because he or she would then understand children can be mean to each other. As an adult reading the book, I completely understand the character building and the foreshadowing that Ayana will eventually overcome the feelings she has from people that are bent on hurting her.
I commend Ian Reading on developing a great build-up for each dragon introduced. I liked that the children had to problem solve to determine what the pages explained while also figuring out how to gather the materials. Their excitement for the process was contagious and I found myself reading it aloud with enthusiasm. What a great idea for children to find a book in the library that possesses the ability to give them several magical experiences! This plants a seed in my child’s mind that the library can be a magical place. (She can figure out it might not happen so quickly to find a magical book, but giving her that ounce of hope and opening her imagination is key.) She’s already telling me about dreams that include things we’ve read or seen in the past few days.
My favorite phrase from the book was when the children encountered someone who would help them conjure the next dragon. He had “encyclopedic knowledge” that would give them the information needed. I love it when authors use phrases like this because they stick in your mind and inevitably pop up later on.
I must also speak to the cover art because it is really clever. It drew my attention immediately with its playful dragons (versus the more realistic ones found in fantasy novels). I enjoyed the fact that this story brought a more whimsical and positive view of dragons so they are not to be feared but instead something to look forward to conjuring, to question, and to understand.
I have no doubt you will enjoy the imagery, the story, and the characters in The Dragon of the Month Club. Another great story by author Iain Reading!
Please note, I had the pleasure of reviewing this book in exchange for a free copy. However, this has in no way influenced by review, which is a genuine response to the story provided by the author. Happy reading!
I’ve chosen to also include a link to purchase Iain Reading’s book as I am a fellow author and want to support the work he’s created. I am in no way compensated for including this link. The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain ReadingI like this article!