Ace Dragon LTD.

AceDragonLTD

Image Credit: Candlewick Press, Russell Hoban/Quentin Blake

This US re-issue of Ace Dragon LTD. (originally published in the UK in 1980) is right on time. A clever story filled with quirky writing, it fits right in with our 2015 picture book sensibilities.

In Ace Dragon LTD., John, equipped with his sword on his belt, discovers a manhole-like cover in the ground that says Ace Dragon LTD. After stomping three times, a voice answers his many questions. We find out that LTD. means limited, which means that someone can only do some things, not all. Ace Dragon tells John all the things he can do (like breathe fire and fly) and invites him to go flying BUT, John has to fight him. They meet up, and after proper introductions, fight. John wins best of three and they go adventuring! Ace is a pretty special dragon; maybe he’s not as limited as he thinks.

Hoban and Blake are quite a team in their storytelling/illustrating capabilities. The illustrations are perfectly suited to the story. John is an inquisitive little boy with wild orange hair and Ace Dragon is just the right amount of fierce and friendly; he’s wearing red Wellingtons for goodness sake! 🙂  Quentin Blake’s signature scratchy style with ink and muted watercolors makes for great visual storytelling. Looking for a great adventure and friendship story? Read Ace Dragon LTD.!

 

Recommended for: All ages
Great for: Fantasy, Friendship, Dragons, Animals, Inquisitive Minds, Action/Adventure, Humor
Book Info: Ace Dragon LTD. by Russell Hoban/Illustrated by Quentin Black, 2015 Candlewick Press, ISBN: 9780763674823

 

Advertisements

The Bear Report

TheBearReport

Image Credit: Abrams Books for Young Readers (Abrams), Thyra Heder

 

Have you ever felt uninspired to do your homework? Too bad you didn’t have inspiration in the form of a 600 pound polar bear…some people have all the luck.

In The Bear Report, Sophie has to find three facts about polar bears for class but unfortunately she has a few misconceptions; one is that they’re mean. As she sits in front of the television, avoiding her work, a polar bear suddenly shows up on her sofa and tells her that they’re not ALL mean. Olafur is actually quite a nice guy with varied interests. He takes her to his world and tours her around. They dine on fish sticks, he teaches her about whale music, shows her the arctic animals and she even uses her smarts to help them out of a tricky situation. I think it’s safe to say that Sophie’s found what she needs for an excellent school report…and a new friend.

I love the fantasy of this story and it’s very cute. I enjoyed the friendly banter between Sophie and Olafur. Heder crafts an original story with heart. Her watercolor illustrations are beautiful; Olafur and Sophie have the best expressions and watercolor is the perfect medium to depict the translucent blue ice and shiny waters of the ocean. Be sure to check out this excellent story about the beauty of the Arctic and an unlikely friendship!

Recommended for: All ages
Great for: Animals, Humor, Friendship, Fantasy, Inspiration, Environment, Northern Lights
Book Info: The Bear Report by Thyra Heder, 2015 Abrams Books for Young Readers (Abrams), ISBN: 9781419707834