A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
When the court magician goes missing, the knighted Jane and the dragon are called in to find him. Their adventures take them to the countryside where they find more problems than they anticipated. As is typical in a Jane adventure, the young knight bravely faces almost insurmountable difficulties, lessons are learned, and all works out in the end.
Is it any good?
For her insistence on justice alone, kids will relate to Jane as a hero. In the second book of the series, Martin Baynton takes Jane on another knightly adventure, using the same delicate-yet-strong colored-pencil drawings to illustrate the high-minded, tough-spirited energy of this brave girl-knight who is ready to take on the world and its problems. Fun though it may be, this story has an uneven tone and is confusing at times. For example, at one point Baynton uses clever alliteration that sounds like a nursery rhyme ("babies in buckets and pigs in pots"), supposedly showing that the magician has gone mad with his rain-making powers. And why the dragon falls from the sky also takes some explaining. Maybe these parts would make more sense animated in the TV show.
On the other hand, when the magician realizes what he's done and apologizes, Jane's message is very clear: Just saying you're sorry isn't enough. You must also make things right again. In Jane's adventures, everyone learns something, and ultimately a just and happy order is restored.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about anything to do with knights, dragons, magicians, and castles, as well as discussing anger and how it caused the magician to do more harm than good. Do you find fantasy tales with knights, dragons, and magicians appealing, and why? What happens in this story when the magician's anger gets the best of him?