It doesn’t happen as often as I would like, but there are times when both my 8 year old daughter and my 5 year old son actually want to hear the same book at the same time. Most times their interests are different enough that the books they want to read are different, especially once my daughter gained an interest in chapter books. However, there are occasions where I can have them both in the same room at the same time to do our bedtime reading. Usually those occasions are when I bring home a new book, and Dear Dragon by Josh Funk, was one of those books.
Of course, you know a read aloud has been a hit in your house when it gets requested multiple nights in a row, and Dear Dragon earned that honor for at least 3 consecutive nights. This book is about two pen pals, one a human, the other a dragon and their letters to each other. There are many many things we loved about this book, so I’ll just list them here:
- Its in letter format, so it’s a different look instead of the typical text across the top of the page.
- It rhymes! You can’t go wrong with a book that rhymes. Plus, as the one reading aloud, it gives you a certain cadence that makes the book more entertaining for the listeners.
- The main character is a little brown boy! Much like I mention in my Nerdy Book Club post, one of the reasons this is important is because there’s no mention of his color, he’s just a little kid named George who happens to be a pen pal with a dragon. #weneeddiversebooks
- The illustrations are wonderful, and also essential to the story. It did take some explaining to my son, but George and Blaise have some misinterpretations of each other’s letters. So the illustrations show what the pen pal is thinking AND what was actually going on.
- Its a funny book, and who doesn’t enjoy a funny book? Once your child catches on with the illustrations, they will find the humor in story, hence the multiple requests for the book many nights in a row.
I had actually won Dear Dragon through a Twitter contest from Mr. Schu (BTW, if you don’t know Mr. Schu, you should. He may actually love kidlit more than I do.). So, after I told Mr. Schu and Josh Funk that my kids loved the book and were going to be disappointed when I had to take it school the next day, this happened:
Yes! There’s all kinds of coloring sheets and activity pages to go along with the book, including a page where my children each wrote their own Dear Dragon letters. (And they forgave me for taking the book away from them to school.)
So, if your children like rhyming, wonderful illustrations, diverse characters, or just good books, then you should add Dear Dragon to your library/bookstore list!