Sunday, March 11, 2012


When a Dragon Moves In
Written by Jodi Moore
Illustrated by Howard McWilliam
Flashlight Press
30 pages

“Listen to him roar!”

            I purchased this book to use for one of my reading sessions with my RITE child. He mentioned liking dragons one day, so I chose this book for him. The book begins with a little boy building a perfect sandcastle at the beach. A dragon moves into his sandcastle, and the boy thinks about how lucky he is. He has his own built-in marshmallow toaster, raft, and kite flyer. The dragon would scare away the beach bullies, but you’d have to hide him from the lifeguard. When the boy tries to tell his parents about the dragon living in his castle, they don’t believe him. As the dragon causes mischief, the boy gets in trouble for the dragon’s actions, and he decides that he’s had enough of the dragon business. The boy makes the dragon leave the castle until he learns his manners.
            This book has a very bright wrap-around cover that would attract any reader. On the endpaper and flyleaf, there is a beautiful picture of the boy and his family walking to the beach. This leads right into the story, where the family is sitting on the beach. The text is informal, and there is a different layout on each page. The illustrations were drawn with pencil on paper, and painted with digital acrylic paint. The bright brown sand and the blue ocean water make you feel like you’re at the beach with the boy and the dragon.
            This is an adorable book, and I would recommend it to anyone to share with their students or children. In the classroom I would read this book aloud and use a phrase from the story as a writing prompt. I would have my students write about building a perfect sandcastle, and having some kind of creature move in. They would tell about what happened during the day, and what events took place with their creature. Although this is a fantasy book, it would still be great for that writing prompt. This book has not been awarded any medals or honors, but it is a fantastic children’s book.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great write-up. Just a followup note to your post:
    Indie Next Kids' Pick, Summer 2011
    2011 ABC Best of Books Catalog pick
    Georgia Children's Book Award list 2012-13