I was totally enchanted by Andy Shepherd’s debut, ‘The Boy Who Grew Dragons,’ illustrated by Sara Ogilvie, so was delighted that the next book in the series, ‘The Boy Who Lived With Dragons,’ has arrived hot on its heels. When Tomas finds a mysterious tree at the bottom of his grandpa’s garden with strange fruit nestled between orange and red fiery tendrils little does he know that a dragon is hiding inside just waiting to hatch. Hilarity and chaos ensue as Tomas tries to keep his new pet a secret but when his friends discover exactly what he’s been up to they want a slice of the excitement. But the reality of actually living with dragons is about to get less magical and a bit more complicated. There are some strange things occurring which Tomas and his friends are determined to get to the bottom of! Extraordinary sized fruit, unexplained shed explosions and a very smug looking and distracted local bully Liam. Nobody could possibly have predicted the trouble that Tomas’s discovery of the dragon fruit tree is about to cause.
Andy has created an equally charming and heart-warming sequel filled with humour and mayhem. We see Tomas torn between wanting to keep his dragon a secret and letting down his grandfather as he weaves a web of lies to protect Flicker. It’s a real testament to the relationship he has with his grandfather that he faces this internal struggle at having to tell lie after lie, it really doesn’t sit comfortably. I love the relationship between Tomas, his friends and their dragons each with their own distinct personalities and interesting challenges. They are completely disillusioned that they have everything under control but in reality that’s so far removed from the truth.
Sara Ogilvie’s sublime illustrations bring this story to life capturing perfectly the carnage and excitement Tomas and his friends experience as their dragons are released into the wild. They sprinkle a layer of wonder and humour over the story making this a truly joyful read. With slightly more peril than its predecessor, life is definitely a little bit more dangerous and a lot more thrilling for Tomas, but this elation is short lived and inevitably becomes tinged with sadness. Bubbling with hilarity, magic and mayhem you can’t help being charmed by this delightful story.
Thank you to Andy for sending me a copy of this gorgeous book, ‘The Boy Who Lived With Dragons,’ is available to buy now online or from any good bookshop.