Something strange is growing in Grandad’s garden, and when Tomas (aka Chipstick) takes one of the unusual-looking fruits home with him it comes as more than a surprise when the weird spiky-skinned thing starts to glow and turn up in places where the little boy never left it. But when the dragon fruit begins to hatch, and the tiny baby dragon Flicker is born, Tomas finds himself on the receiving end of a fantastic adventure. First of all though, how is he going to keep Flicker a secret from his family, especially when the magical mite enjoys accidentally setting fire to things and creating carnage wherever he swoops (and the smelliest kind of carnage, too… exploding dragon poo can be a serious liability). And then, just to make matters worse, a whole crop of new dragon fruit begins to appear on the mysterious tree in Grandad’s garden; even at his most ingenious, Tomas won’t be able to keep the dragons a secret forever!
The Boy Who Grew Dragons is one of those magical children’s books that warms the cockles of your heart no matter what age you might be. It’s fast, it’s funny, it makes you feel good, and for the brief time, it takes to read its reassuring innocence comforts you into believing that everything is right with the world. This is Andy Shepherd’s first book and she knocks it out of the park from page one, accompanied by some fabulous Quentin Blake - worthy illustrations from Sara Ogilvie. Their publisher obviously has a lot of well-deserved faith in this concept too, because a second book - The Boy Who Lived with Dragons - is already on the way.
But the proof of this dragon is in the reading, so we thought we’d put The Boy Who Grew Dragons to the test by lending it to one of STARBURST’s youngest fans and possibly future reviewer. If seven-year-old Daniel’s reaction is anything to go by, The Boy Who Grew Dragons contains that fabulous ingredient beloved of all great kid’s books - the ability to shut them up solidly for an entire afternoon while they devour the pages with ever more growing eyes. But we made sure we got our copy back because it’s too good to give away. If you’re one of those readers who is nostalgic for early Roald Dahl and wishes you could experience that frisson of childhood again, you’ll want to add this to your collection even if you’re not a parent. And it doesn’t matter how young or old we are, or if we’re a boy or a girl, we all love dragons don’t we?!
THE BOY WHO GREW DRAGONS / AUTHOR: ANDY SHEPHERD / PUBLISHER: PICCADILLY PRESS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOWascript">