Sunday, October 16, 2016

Here Be Dragons!

I knew it was time to write about this book when my almost-4-year-old granddaughter saw it at my house today, tapped the cover, and said, "I like this. The dragon writes to the human and the human writes to the dragon." We'd read it together the week before, and she remembered it well! 

We aren't the only fans of this book by Josh Funk, illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo. Kirkus and School Library Journal have given the book great reviews. School Library Journal says, "Perfect for classes undertaking a pen-pal unit, but general picture book collections can benefit from this gentle reminder that kids who look different can still get along." 

The rhyming text allows readers in on the plot twist and keeps us wondering what the dragons and humans will do when they find out the truth of their letter writing campaign.

To completely appreciate the story, you must have both the text and the pictures, which show the thoughts running through the characters' heads. I posted this comment on Funk's Facebook page.  You can see his humble reply below.

I am reading and re-reading this book this weekend. So clever! Wonderful marriage of text and illustrations. Could also be used to teach point of view--(besides just being fun)
Josh Funk Aww, thanks! I really didn't intend all that when I wrote it, too. It was mostly just me trying to show funny misinterpretations and my wish to have a dragon pen pal.
It has been said that old maps contain the phrase "Here be dragons" at the edges of known land forms. This Atlantic article debunks that, and tells us a bit about the saying. I'm glad to know where I can find dragons--in books! I'm fond of many dragon books, including Eric Ode's The Boy and the Dragon, and others. What are your favorite dragon stories? 

Enjoy this special story time: 


  1. Yes, it's worth the second, and third, and fourth read!

  2. I still need to read this one, am sorry I haven't. There are many holds at the library, which means it's much sought after, so think I may have to visit my local indie! Thanks, Jane for sharing how much you and your granddaughter love it!

    1. Yes, Linda B, it's great for many ages and fun to read again and again. Thanks for the comment.

  3. What a fun premise! My favorite dragon stories are The Hobbit by Tolkien, Voyage of the Dawn Treader by Lewis, and for a picture book, The Best Pet of All by David LaRochelle and Hanako Wakiyama.

    Deb Watley

    1. Thanks for your recommendations, Deb. I also like the Hobbit & CS Lewis, and I'll have to look for The Best Pet of All. :)