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At the start of this workmanlike series opener, fantasy-loving 10-year-old cousins Jesse and Daisy are convinced that "sooner or later they [will] have a magical adventure of their own." When Jesse finds a geode, aka a "thunder egg," both can hear it talking; in short enough order, it hatches into a dragon. As its chosen Dragon Keepers, the cousins must protect little "Emmy" (for Emerald) from an evil Dragon Slayer, who, by day, is a herpetologist at the local college. Klimo, v-p and publisher of Random House/ Golden Books Young Readers Group, leaves a lot unexplained, including why the Dragon Slayer wants to drink Emmy's blood and why doing so "could spell doom, not only for Emerald, but for the world," as a 19th-century dragonologist tells them via a Harry Potter-esque use of the Internet. And while Jesse and Daisy are likable enough, their quest is not as noble nor as exciting as readers of this genre can reasonably expect; the ending-the dragon disguises herself as a sheepdog which the cousins keep as a pet-falls flat. Ages 8-12. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.