Henry and the Chalk Dragon Brings Art and Imagination to Life

Book Review, Middle Grade
Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton, illustrated by Benjamin Schipper. A middle grade novel perfect for kids in the 7-9 age range that love imaginative stories and art.

Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton, illustrated by Benjamin Schipper. A middle grade novel perfect for kids in the 7-9 age range that love imaginative stories and art.This blog post contains affiliate links.

Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton, illustrated by Benjamin Schipper

Age Range: 8 – 12 years | Grade Level: 3 – 7 | Hardcover: 240 pages | Publisher: Rabbit Room Press (April 4, 2017)

 

About the Book

“A perfect title to hand to young readers looking for laughs along with a wild and crazy adventure.” —School Library Journal (Starred)

“Altogether, a delicious face-off between forces of conformity and creativity run amok, spiced with offbeat names as well as insights expressed with eloquent simplicity.” —Booklist (Starred)

In the town of Squashbuckle, just about anything can happen, and when Henry Penwhistle draws a mighty Chalk Dragon on his door, the dragon does what Henry least expects–it runs away. Now Henry’s art is out in the world for everyone to see, and it’s causing trouble for him and his schoolmates Oscar and Jade. If they don’t stop it, the entire town could be doomed! To vanquish the threat of a rampaging Chalk Dragon, Sir Henry Penwhistle, Knight of La Muncha Elementary School, is going to have to do more than just catch his art–he’s going to have to let his imagination run wild. And THAT takes bravery.

 

Find the Book

Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository

 

My Thoughts on Henry and the Chalk Dragon

I wavered between three and four stars and finally decided to go with 3.5 stars.

This is a really cute story about a boy with a talent for drawing and a huge imagination. He doesn’t draw things the way you would normally see them. His stegosaurus, for example, might be drawn with wings. His artwork tends to get away from him, quite literally, as in the case of his dragon.

I read Henry and the Chalk Dragon out loud to my kids. We had a great time reading it. Henry’s imagination is wild and limitless like the sky. He sees things in a unique way. He’s a fun character to follow through the story. Oscar and Jade (Henry’s friends) are unique in their own ways too.

Our only complaint is that for most of the story, Henry is chasing his dragon around the school. It was fun and imaginative, but it reached a point where we (my kids and I) got tired of the chase and wanted something else to happen.

I love the premise. I’ve read several books with a similar theme, and this one holds up well with them.

I would recommend this book to kids with big imaginations, kids that like art, and kids that like odd or quirky stories.

Content: Clean

Source: Blue Slip Media sent me a copy of this book.

3.5 STARS

 

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Adriana Garcia
    April 9, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I can see how just having to read about Henry chasing the dragon around the school the whole time could get bothersome. I like this type of premise though. A creation you’ve made coming out of the paper or in this case I’m assuming sidewalk. Cute.

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      April 12, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      It was actually his door. Henry’s mom painted his door with chalkboard paint, and he draws on it with sidewalk chalk. Anyway, it’s really cute and I think if I hadn’t been reading it out loud, I wouldn’t have gotten irritated. But reading out loud takes much longer, so I think that’s why it felt that way.

  • Reply
    Danya @ Fine Print
    April 12, 2017 at 11:00 am

    This sounds absolutely adorable, kind of like a more grown up Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings! I bet that younger readers at my library would love this, and giving them some chalk to play with out front would be a good extension activity too. Thanks for putting this on my radar, Dena!

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      April 12, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      Yes! That’s a good comparison. And that would be a super fun extension activity, getting the kids involved with drawing their own creations.

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