The Discovery of Dragons

( 3 )

Overview

Venture into the enchanted world of dragons to confront the horrifying Welsh Red Dragon, the delicate Japanese Butterfly Lizard, and the scaly Eastern Temple Worm. Recounted here for the very first time are the amazing exploits of three intrepid adventurers who, fearlessly, discovered some of the most dazzling dragons that ever lived. The notably undistinguished Victorian scientist, Rowland W. Greasebeam, B.Sc. (Serpentology) F.R.Aud., has collected rare historical documents to prove that the discovery of dragons...
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Overview

Venture into the enchanted world of dragons to confront the horrifying Welsh Red Dragon, the delicate Japanese Butterfly Lizard, and the scaly Eastern Temple Worm. Recounted here for the very first time are the amazing exploits of three intrepid adventurers who, fearlessly, discovered some of the most dazzling dragons that ever lived. The notably undistinguished Victorian scientist, Rowland W. Greasebeam, B.Sc. (Serpentology) F.R.Aud., has collected rare historical documents to prove that the discovery of dragons can be attributed to these brave individuals. Read the actual letters of Bjorn of Bromme, a Viking who scrawled his notes on a piece of hide while pillaging Europe in the 9th century; the delicate calligraphy of Soong Mei Ying, who wrote to her father as she traveled the Silk Road in the 13th century; and, finally, the correspondence of Prussian cartographer Dr. E. F. Liebermann, who wrote to his fiancee on the world's first typewriter from the depths of the African jungle. Their entertaining escapades and gripping encounters with dastardly dragons will astound and amuse readers of all ages. Was Bjorn truly one of the great Viking explorers? Could Soong Mei Ying actually have discovered every Asiatic Dragon known to Serpentology? Did Dr. Liebermann really perish, brokenhearted, in the wilds of Tasmania?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Base (Animalia) poses as the Victorian scientist Rowland W. Greasebeam, B.Sc. (Serpentology), F.R.Aud., to serve up this compendium of dragon lore and sheer inventive nonsense. Expanding on a dozen illustrations from his calendar Dragons Draaks & Beasties, Base fabricates a trio of correspondents-a Viking, a Chinese silk trader and a Prussian explorer-whose letters chronicle their discoveries of dragons in various continents. The resulting web of yarns that Base spins is nothing short of hilarious ("Hope the looting and pillaging went well," writes Bjorn of Bromme in a letter to Olaf the Grim, for instance). Illustrations showcase the kind of intricate detail for which Base is so well known, and he bolsters his dragon art with a deadpan running commentary set in a border at the bottom of each page. "Dagbar defunctus est" notes one caption in a fit of understatement, as the accompanying cartoon depicts the demise of one of Bjorn's companions. There's much to enjoy here, and much to propel readers to seek out every last drop of humor. All ages. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-Adopting the persona of Rowland W. Greasebeam, B.Sc. (Serpentology) F.R.Aud., Base explores one of the animal kingdom's most exotic niches, presenting the stained, tattered letters of three (fictional) early dragon hunters, along with brief footnotes and a series of oversized, spectacularly detailed illustrations. All three individuals made their discoveries inadvertently: young Soong Mei Ying on a business trip to 13th-century Kathmanadu; 9th-century Viking Bjorn of Bromme on another sort of business trip to ancient Britain; and Dr. E. F. Liebermann, a contemporary of Darwin, on an ill-fated quest to prove that Africa, Tasmania, and Madagascar were once connected. All three find several dragon species, from the cat-sized Japanese Butterfly Lizard to Madagascar's gigantic and remarkably unsavory Common Green Draak. Though descriptions of each creature's appearance and habits tend to be general and understandably hasty first impressions, young readers will pick up all sorts of little-known facts: that few dragons breathe fire, for instance, and that many are vegetarians, including the infamous St. George Dragon, which "...can most commonly be seen in the remoter parts of Andalucia, lying in wait for passing grocery trucks." The letters are, fortunately, all written in English, and present no legibility problems; readers who skip them in favor of poring over the paintings, which appeared previously on a calendar, or the running frieze at the bottom, in which each correspondent's career is reprised, will find the art as tongue-in-cheek as the text, replete with toothy, scaled, but nonetheless seldom scary monsters. A browser's delight.-John Peters, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810932371
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Pages: 36
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.75 (w) x 13.75 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2004

    Wonderful Book

    I loved this book. Graeme Base is an excellent writer and the illustrations fit the book so charmingly, and are so beautiful that you feel you're in the book. Also, (and I'm surprised that no one else mentioned it) is the fact that you can find a hidden frog in every picture.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2002

    I enjoyed it more than the kids did!

    Wow! This book is filled with tongue and cheek humor that was more fun for mom and dad than for the kids. The kids loved the illustrations and content. I would recommend this as a fantastic family read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2000

    The Best Book Ever!

    An absolutly amazing book. The pictures are great. It has made me think that such beautiful creatures can exist. This book is absolutly amazing. It expands your imagination to an never-ending horizon.

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