August 5, 2008 in Books

Kenny & the Dragon

“DiTerlizzi’s novel is light-hearted and his informal pencil sketches enhance the creative interpretation” – Publisher’s Weekly

“It’s fun for young and young-at-heart readers” – The Times-Picayune

“I have to say I loved this book” – The Bookbag

What do you do when your new best buddy has been designated a scourge by the community and marked for imminent extermination? Just ask Kenny Rabbit. When the simple folks in the sleepy little village of Roundbrook catch wind that there’s a dragon running loose in the countryside, they get the wrong idea and the stage is set for a fight to the death. So it’s up to Kenny to give his neighbors front-row seats to one of the best-known battles in history – the legendary showdown between St. George and the dragon – without losing a friend in the fray.

School Library Journal

Grade 3–6—Kenny’s father brings home a fearsome description of an enormous creature: “…one of them flying things that eats pretty maidens and burns castles to the ground.” Instead of being frightened, Kenny, a curious and well-read rabbit, wants to meet the beast. His father, not too bright in some ways but quite sensible in others, is sure Kenny can handle it, but Kenny’s no-nonsense mother insists, “Dishes and homework first.” What follows is a delightful riff on Kenneth Grahame’s classic The Reluctant Dragon, starring a dragon named Grahame that can delicately torch crème brûlée with the flames from his left nostril and has no interest in killing anyone. Before long, rumors and fear create a mob mentality among the local townspeople, and Kenny has to come up with a plan to prevent the retired dragon slayer (George, of course) from killing Grahame. This is a fun story with substance. At one point, Kenny wonders, “How can they want someone killed they don’t even know?… How can George just blindly do whatever the king says?” The civilizing influence of literature is another theme that has relevance for today’s readers. Lively pencil sketches add to the charm. The author’s reputation will enhance the popularity of this solid fantasy.—Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL

Listen to Tony-winning actor, Alan Cumming, read chapter 1:

Audio Excerpt

TEACHERS! Click here to download a KENNY & THE DRAGON Discussion Guide (pdf format)

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