The Boy Who Sang With Dragons - Andy Shepherd, ill. Sara Ogilvie
What's happened here...how have I missed not just one, but FOUR, books in this series, leading up to this fifth and final instalment???
I'm not sure, and I'm sad but happy, as I got to read this finale, and now can go back and read the journey that led up to it, so it's not ALL bad news!
What a great book this is...Danger and dragons, feelings and fire, peril and poo....there really is something for everyone!
Following the adventures of Thomas, best friend Aura, and a cast of dragons, each with a unique name and ability, this is a charming book about finding the good ('magic') in things, and although funny, action-packed and filled with great descriptions, it was the message of positivity, and the characters and relationships that made this book feel so special for me.
In particular, it was the one between Tomas and his grandad, which brought back memories of my own grandfather, a keen gardener, sounding board for my own dilemmas, and provider of solutions/suggestions when growing up...I'm sure a character and relationship many readers will identify with: wisdom imparted by a loved elder.
'I know so,' said Grandad. 'Things are always friendlier with two. Someone clever said that once.'
'Who?' I asked.
'A very small piglet. Friend to a very wise bear.'
I adored the dragons...their names and linked behaviour, the slime, exploding poo, and other magical abilities. I also loved the visual touch of making the pages of the book look like they'd been burned/singed/clawed throughout, alongside Sara Ogilvie's illustrations.
I can't wait to read the rest of the series and use them all in school, supported by the fabulous range of resources and activities that are available on Andy Shepherd's website...an amazing bonus for teachers and readers alike...(See more about these below!)
I'm very grateful to Andy for sharing her five top tips for things to do with the book for me to share exclusively here today -THANK YOU!
Five Fun Things to Do While Reading The Boy Who Sang With Dragons
by Andy Shepherd, author of The Boy Who Grew Dragons series
The Boy Who Sang With Dragons – out 7 January 2021
Host a dragon tea party – you could play pin the flame on the dragon or colour in a dragon mask. And as for party food, well the superhero squad love Nana’s cakes, especially her jam tarts, and everyone loves Grandad’s caramel toffees that he pops into their mouths to stop any complaints about digging. You could have real food at your tea party or make pretend by serving delicious treats you’ve drawn and coloured in. Just don’t let Sunny (or Ted) scoff it all!
Grow Your Own Dragon – What kind of dragon would you grow if you had a tree like Tomas? You need to think about what they look like, but also what kind of powers they’d have, too. I like to get inspired by real-life animals. They have some wonderful characteristics, and it’s a great way to get ideas for what kind of qualities or special powers my dragons might have. Maybe you can spot which dragons have been inspired by a chameleon, a puffer fish and a cuttle fish as you read the series. You could draw, paint or write a description of your dragon – and maybe even grow a story about them too…
Invent your own S’more – the dragons are very helpful at toasting marshmallows for the s’mores. Tomas’ favourite is Chocolate Ginger Jelly. But what would you put in yours? If you can’t make one just now, then why not draw your ideal s’more – then your imagination really is the limit!
Decorate a shoebox nest - Tomas and his friends all make cosy shoebox nests for their dragons to curl up in. Just remember to keep them hidden away from prying eyes – and from any cats like Tomtom!
Curl up with a dragon story – as well as the other four books in the series, I’ve written a brand new short story ‘The Boy Who Grew Dragons - A Piratey Adventure’ which is available for free to download from my website and is just waiting to be illustrated by a budding new illustrator. Or head to my website to find my top ten favourite dragon books.
For more ideas, writing prompts, print-outs and craft activities (as well as a jam-packed Teacher Activity Pack if you’re a teacher or librarian or home-schooling) head over to www.andyshepherdwriter.co.uk. You can find the dragon mask for your tea party here too – designed by the clever Cambridge Art Makers.
Thank you to Piccadilly Press for allowing me to be a part of the blog tour for this, and sending me a copy to review.
Piccadilly Press are on Twitter as @PiccadillyPress and their website is www.piccadillypress.co.uk/
Andy Shepherd is on Twitter as @andyjshepherd, and her website for all the amazing resources to go with these books is www.andyshepherdwriter.co.uk/teacher-resources
Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot on Twitter and Instagram) January 2021
Check out what others say on the rest of the blogtour here: