Top positive review
Another Wonderful Book in Tracey West's Dragon Master Series ...
Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2016
“Song of the Poison Dragon” is a story that will engage new readers and one that can be an enjoyable read-aloud for preschoolers and for kindergarteners. Tracey West has written another wonderful book involving magic dragons and diverse, multi-ethnic children who are learning to become Dragon Masters.
A new Dragon Master is arriving in the Kingdom of Bracken. Eight-year old, Petra, “…from the southern lands …” has been chosen by the Dragon Stone for the unnamed four-headed hydra. Her know-it-all attitude makes an unfavorable impression on the four Dragon Masters already living at King Roland’s castle. The king’s desire to exhibit his dragons for his friend Queen Rose results in a near tragedy as Petra fails, when the dragon becomes agitated, to follow instructions and pat the hydra’s heads. After a compassionate, understanding Drake succumbs to the hydra’s poison mist, Petra must overcome her fears to save both Drake and King Roland.
Perfect for the target group, “Song of the Poison Dragon” is not a difficult book to read. Chapters are short; the vocabulary is not overly sophisticated or difficult. Sentences are simple and convey their message with the story and the characters’ actions. Beginning readers will appreciate the less complex structure of the narrative. The subject matter of wizards and dragons will fascinate young readers who find many early reader books “boring”. The book has magic and action; the mythical creatures contained on its pages will engage children.
Damien Jones’ black-and-white illustrations are featured on almost every page. Unlike the simplistic drawings in some other children’s books, these have depth, perspective, and dimension, making them visually interesting and very appealing. These illustrations bring the characters to life. I appreciate that Tracey West has decided to include illustrations throughout the “Song of the Poison Dragon” for children who may have advanced to having chapter books read aloud to them at bedtime, but who still want pictures to accompany the story.
Through the Wizard Griffith’s teaching of the Dragon Masters, the books show the importance of following the instruction and guidance of those who have greater wisdom than those being mentored. They also provide some good lessons about cooperation and the importance of listening to and of understanding others.
The books in the Dragon Masters series contain magic and action, and situations that engage and interest youngsters. I am thrilled Tracey West has continued the Dragon Masters books and am glad to see there is at least one more to be published.
If you are looking for a series of books that will interest early readers, particularly boys, you will want to look at the Dragon Master series. It is not necessary to have read other books in the Dragon Masters series – but you will want to do so - to enjoy “Song of the Poison Dragon”. Tracey West provides enough background information in this book to allow you to enjoy it independent of the other four Dragon Masters books. Her books are fun to read, contain enough fantasy and magic to appeal to children, and teach some valuable lessons without becoming didactic.