Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Review: Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs

Do you have a dragon lover in your home?  Are you looking for a gift idea for your tween/young teen?  Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs, published by Master Books just might be the book for you!

Since we have started reading the DragonKeeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul, my children have become dragon lovers.  They are always talking about dragons--this trait or that trait.  Their exposure to dragon lore has been limited up to this point to fiction, so when I saw this book and had the opportunity to review it, they were all saying "Yes! Please get it!"

This book is where legend breaks out of modern fiction novels and explodes throughout history, digging to separate fact from fiction.  Could dragons have really existed?  One interesting point is brought up immediately:  cultures all over the world have dragon legends from their history.  How did this come to be?

The pages of the book begin by looking at common elements of dragon lore.  The authors say, "taking the supernatural elements out and sticking to clearly defined accounts and historical records, there is a logical explanation for the worldwide prevalence of dragon legends."  What are dragons and how could they possibly have existed?  Well, I don't want to spoil the story for you, but maybe the full title of the book has already given it away.

Beautifully illustrated, and interactive, this book is engaging and inviting.  There are envelopes with papers to pull out and read, mini pop-up type books, fold-out pages with more information (did you know that "dragons" appear 22 times in the Old Testament in the King James Version of the Bible?  You'll want to have your favorite translation on hand to compare!).  It is as fun as a children's book, but it is not a children's book!  The text is at a reading level that will challenge your tween/young teen.  It is built on documented facts and well-written.  Research is compiled in a collective order, but is not watered-down.  Your child can read this book again and again, digesting and learning more each time.  The book makes an excellent gift for a child who will respect and take care of it.  (Hint:  it needs to be kept out of reach of my 4 year old and 2 year old, who will simply rip things open, lose parts, etc.)

Perhaps this book demystifies dragons a little bit.  Does that take the fun out of reading dragon stories?  Nah.  I think it is incredibly interesting to read dragon legends from around the world, and this book introduces and puts names to them for further research.  Secondly, it is also interesting to connect dragons to dinosaurs and explore from there.  One of my favorite pictures in the book is on the last page:  a dragon, with a castle in the background, is peering into a still pond of water.  His reflection looking back is simply a T-Rex.  Sweet!

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the New Leaf Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

1 comment:

  1. How funny - I recently downloaded an audio file from somewhere that discusses the reality of dragons and dinosaurs and when they existed... not sure where it was from but the file is called: 90-6-010_bible-explains-dinosaurs.mp3 - I can email it if you want