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Dr. Ernest Drake's Dragonology Handbook : a practical course in dragons
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
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What's the story?
Made to look like an antique book (complete with stains) this companion to the bestselling Dragonology is presented as a student textbook for aspiring dragonologists. Divided into parts for beginning, intermediate, and advanced dragonologists, it contains information on everything from riddle work and reading dragon writing to identifying dragon types and markings. Like its predecessor, it has lots of fun extras, such as dragon stickers, sealed envelopes with maps and forms, ads for dragonology-related paraphernalia, and more.
Is it any good?
Any child who is not fanatical about dragons will find this book boring in the extreme, but for the right children it will provide hours of fascinating fun. They'll labor to translate passages written in dragon script, figure out riddles, and follow instructions for improving their skills.
The book is gorgeous -- extensively illustrated and showing great attention to detail in its attempt to look like an antique textbook -- though there are places where ornate fonts on top of pictures are hard to read. The one section children will find disappointing is the chapter titled "How to Draw Dragons," which is badly misnamed and offers no drawing instruction at all.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction. This book is written as though non-fiction, but all the information is made up -- does its presentation make it more fun to read? Do books have to be either fiction or non-fiction? Can you think of any other titles that blur the line?