The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook by Katie Haworth & Mónica Armiño

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Published by Templar, 2016.

This gorgeous lift-the-flap, pop-up book begins with a large parcel being delivered to your door. Inside is a dragon egg and your dragon keeper’s starter pack. The premise of the book is that it will guide you through the various aspects of dragon care and training. There are also sections on famous dragon keepers from history, and a map showing the native habitats of different dragon species.

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There are lots of exciting interactive elements: flaps in all shapes and sizes, books-within-a-book, and a wheel that rotates to let you learn how to understand your dragon’s facial expressions. The pop-ups are impressive and will certainly delight children and adults alike.

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The illustrations are great: bold, colourful and funny. There’s lots of glorious detail in the text and the pictures; young trainee dragon keepers will be able to acquire a wealth of fascinating dragon knowledge (for example, how to cure common ailments, tips on fire-proofing your home, and some nifty stunts to pull off when flying).

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I particularly enjoyed the book’s humour and found myself chuckling a lot. Children will find lots to laugh about too. They will also enjoy the undercurrent of danger; the book is laced with an underlying sense of peril (looking after dragons is a hazardous business) but the overall tone is light-hearted and very entertaining.

While the book can be read cover to cover, its non-fiction style means that you can also take a more non-linear approach and jump between sections. This is a book you can dip in and out of and because of the level of detail it stands up to repeated readings.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 6+

Thank you to Templar Publishing for sending me this book to review.

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