The Boy Who Grew Dragons is a wonderfully entertaining read which I absolutely adored. It is the kind of book that makes you feel all warm inside and for adults it reminds you that being a child is a very magical thing. A world full of possibilities where anything can, and quite often does, happen.
It had me laughing out loud and I read it with a smile ‘burnt’ onto my face. It is packed full of humour that kids and grown-ups will love. I loved that so much of the book is about everyday family life and it is these elements that make it so relatable for the reader, be that adult or child. The story is told through the eyes of Tomas. He feels like a character that we all know and Andy Shepherd makes reference to so many everyday things that will have readers making connections with their own lives - comics, cartoons, daydreaming, Batman pyjamas, working parents, a younger sibling, Lego models (I winced and felt Tomas’ pain as his Lego models were destroyed), doughnuts, Operation game, loveable grandparents, Incredible Hulk, a school bully, toddler causing chaos, white lies and freshly baked cakes.
The narrative is driven by the kind of thing that many children dream of happening to them. Find something unusual and then try and keep it a secret whilst the chaos unfolds around them and things only seem to spiral further out of control in the most hilarious of ways. It is exactly what you imagine having a pet dragon would be like. And this book details the struggles and challenges of secretly keeping a pet dragon in-between going to school, managing home-life, dealing with friends and trying to stop Grandad from pulling up the strange plant in the veggie patch.
It is impossible not to like the loveable grandparents, so typical of how I think back to my childhood and visits to grandparents. Nana always ready with freshly baked treats and Grandad with his constant supply of toffees - reminded me of my Grandad and his Werther’s Original.
The plot and the events in the story are easy for readers to follow and it has the perfect amount of bogeys, exploding poo, cosmic cowpat, stink bombs and goo to keep even the most reluctant of readers engaged. A great read and a book that I would definitely share with grade 3 & 4 children as the chapters are a perfect length for a whole class read. I always love a book with illustrations and Sarah Ogilvie’s perfectly capture the tone and feel of the book and the dragons are so cute! An absolute delight of a read.
Recommended for 7+.