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