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Gruffen by Chris D'Lacey
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814214,105 (3.5)3



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Lovely story, lovable characters, even the 'monster' is redeemed ( )
  Breony | Jun 9, 2014 |
Young Reader Reaction: My boys adored "the dragon book." They also liked the bat, because, similarly, the bat in the book was, appropriately, a heroine, not a scary creature. We read this book many times.

Adult Reader Reaction: I loved this book. I am a biologist by training, and I loved that the book promoted nature education, conservation, etc. in a fun yet well-researched manner. I loved that the dragon and the bat were "good guys", not bad creatures. Unlike many dragon-themed books, the dragons in this story are good, not scary. The only bad guy was the grumpy old man next door who tries to get rid of the bat. Mrs. Pennykettle is a single mom (!!) and I like how she stood up to the grumpy neighbor with the utmost confidence and tact. I fell in love with the sweet and clumsy-but-well-intentioned Gruffen (the main dragon character).

To read our full review, go to The Reading Tub®.
  TheReadingTub | Dec 28, 2013 |
Silver Knight, 2012 (grade 3 list)
A mother and daughter pair are able to speak to dragons, and the mother can craft clay dragons into living creatures with special talents. When daughter Lucy gets scared of a "monster" who visits her room at night, her mom makes a guard dragon named Gruffen. Will he prove capable of conquering the monster? This is the first in a series of four books, each about a different dragon.
  scducharme | Mar 4, 2012 |
The Dragons of Wayward Crescent are set in the same quasi-magical world as the popular Last Dragon Chronicles but are aimed at a younger audience.

Nine-year-old Lucy and her mother Mrs. Pennykettle live in a mostly ordinary house - except for the dragons. Mrs. Pennykettle is a potter and sculptor and, among other things, creates marvelous dragon sculptures. What no one but Lucy and Mrs. Pennykettle knows is that some are special; some are alive. When Lucy is scared by a mysterious shadow flitting about her room, her mom makes her a special guard dragon. After some initial mishaps, Gruffen catches the mysterious shadow, which turns out to be a bat. With the help of a bat expert and after a few more Gruffen-mishaps, the bats are given a safe home and Gruffen has fulfilled his mission to protect.

This beginning chapter book is on the older end of the spectrum, sprinkled with small black and white, slightly cartoonish illustrations, and focusing mainly on the text. Previous fans of D'Lacey may be interested in reading this short stories, but a reader who isn't familiar with D'Lacey's world may become bored by the lengthy explanations of the mechanics. There's a lot of foreshadowing, we'll get to it in another story-ing, and the frightening monster turns out to be another wildlife rescue project for Lucy and her mom.

Verdict: Kids who like gentle fantasy reads and animals with a little touch of humor and don't mind wading through a couple slow chapters will enjoy this, but it's not going to grab reluctant or easily discouraged readers. Kids who enjoy this series will probably also eventually like the series for older readers, which is more of the same with a little more drama thrown in.

ISBN: 978-0545168151; Published September 2009 by Orchard; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library
  JeanLittleLibrary | Dec 31, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545168155, Hardcover)

Bestselling author Chris d'Lacey's first series for young readers ages 7 to 10 - complete with black and white lined drawings!

When Lucy Pennykettle suspects there's a monster in her bedroom, her mom knows exactly what to do. She creates a new dragon - Gruffen the guard dragon. But can Gruffen discover the mystery behind the monster?
New York Times Bestselling author, Chris d'Lacey, debuts his first series for younger readers - full of magic, adventure, and humor. Featuring black and white lined illustrations!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:14 -0400)

Lucy thinks there is a monster lurking outside her bedroom window, so her mother makes a dragon out of clay to protect her while she sleeps.

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