The Dragon of Doom (Moongobble and Me Series #1)

( 3 )


Edward is bored with life in the little town of Pigbone. Then Moongobble the Magician and his faithful toad, Urk, move into the cottage on the hill.

Soon Edward has a job helping Moongobble. And Moongobble needs a lot of help because it turns out, he is not a very good magician. (His spells keep turning things into cheese!)

Edward has never been so busy -- or so happy. But then someone threatens to stop Moongobble from ever casting another ...

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Edward is bored with life in the little town of Pigbone. Then Moongobble the Magician and his faithful toad, Urk, move into the cottage on the hill.

Soon Edward has a job helping Moongobble. And Moongobble needs a lot of help because it turns out, he is not a very good magician. (His spells keep turning things into cheese!)

Edward has never been so busy -- or so happy. But then someone threatens to stop Moongobble from ever casting another spell. Edward can't let that happen. He'll do anything to save his friend's magic -- even face the deadly, dreaded Dragon of Doom!

Funny and suspenseful, spiced with Bruce Coville's special brand of wackiness and Katherine Coville's warm, witty illustrations, this book is sure to cast a spell of delight on beginning readers.

Life in the village of Pigbone is boring until an aspiring magician and his talking toad come to town and ask Edward to help them slay the Dragon of Doom.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Despite its title, this inaugural installment of Coville's (the Space Brat books) Moongobble and Me series offers little that is child-pleasingly chilling. Narrator Edward, who lives with his mother at the edge of Pigbone, a seemingly timeless town, complains that his life lacks excitement. He hopes this will change when Moongobble, a bumbling would-be magician, moves into a nearby cottage. Yet even after the boy becomes assistant to this good-natured fellow, the excitement-and enchantment-are in short supply. Edward's new neighbor explains that he is a former shoemaker who (in a wry reference to a familiar story) became interested in magic after "a group of elves started to help me out." But in order to join the Society of Magicians, Moongobble must either pass a magic test (which he fails after performing his signature bungled trick, changing a stone into blue cheese and splattering green goo everywhere) or perform "three Mighty Tasks." He here tackles the first one, an assignment to retrieve the Golden Acorns of Alcoona, guarded by a "deadly dragon" (which turns out to be diminutive and benign) with anticlimactic results. Short sentences, paragraphs and chapters, as well as Katherine Coville's appealing, softly focused graphite illustrations, tailor this tale to beginning or reluctant readers. But despite the splashes of humor (Moongobble's sidekick, a talking frog, utters some punchy one-liners), Coville fans will likely find this disappointing. Ages 6-10. (Dec.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This initial entry in the "Moongobble and Me" series has Edward telling about his first adventure with the hapless and error-prone magician called Moongobble. Edward's life is pretty uneventful in his medieval-ish town of Pigbone until he hooks up with the magician as his helper for a silver penny a day, an arrangement that Edward's mother vets cautiously. Their adventure includes tracking down the lost Golden Acorns of Alcona that are guarded by the Dragon of Doom. But since all of Moongobble's spells turn things to cheese, this adventure is not going very well until Edward decides to sneak up on the dragon's cave and see for himself what's going on. Second and third graders will appreciate the slapstick humor, the not-very-successful spells, the wisecracking toad Urk, and the hard-of-hearing Rusty Knight who accompanies them on this acorn quest. Short chapters, Katherine Coville's pencil illustrations, and a straightforward, simple plot make this an easy introduction to fantasy, and the ending promises at least two more adventures before Moongobble can earn his magician stripes. 2003, Simon & Schuster, Ages 6 to 10.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-The first in a new trilogy, this book combines humor, adventure, and fantasy. Nothing much happens in the town of Pigbone-until a magician and his talking toad move into the abandoned cottage on the hill. When young Edward becomes Moongobble's helper, he soon discovers that the former shoemaker is not very good at his new profession, a situation that results in many comical moments. In fact, the Society of Magicians threatens to cast Moongobble out unless he proves his worth by facing the Dragon of Doom. When all of his spells fail, Edward finds himself confronting the creature on his own. The ending is not entirely resolved, leaving the door open for the next installment. The story is fast paced, and cliff-hanger endings will keep youngsters turning the pages. The whimsical black-and-white illustrations add to the action. Purchase this title for those fans of Harry Potter who need something easier, shorter, and less complicated to read on their own.-Kristina Aaronson, Henniker Community School, NH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A little boy named Edward is the first-person narrator of this transitional chapter book that also includes a bumbling beginning magician, backfiring spells, and a talking toad. The magician, Moongobble, is assigned the task of procuring three golden acorns from the Dragon of Doom who guards them, and Edward goes along on the quest journey as an assistant. Lots of dialogue, very short chapters with cliff-hanging endings, and pencil illustrations interspersed throughout the text help keep the action moving. But the plot and characters are really nothing new or particularly exciting in the world of wizard-wannabe fiction-though the subject will have instant appeal at this age range. The Dragon of Doom turns out to be a small, rather shy creature who merely projected his huge shadow with "smoke and mirrors" to scare people away. The troop of adventurers returns to Edward's village to await Moongobble's next assignment to prove himself worthy of membership in the Society of Magicians, and further volumes expanding the series seem destined to develop Edward's own interest in becoming an apprentice magician. (Fiction. 6-9)
From the Publisher
"The story is fast paced, and cliff-hanger endings will keep youngsters turning the pages....Purchase this title for those fans of Harry Potter who need something easier, shorter, and less complicated to read on their own."
School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932076615
  • Publisher: Full Cast Audio
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Series: Moongobble and Me Series , #1
  • Format: Cassette
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Bruce Coville

Bruce Coville has published more than one hundred books, which have sold more than sixteen million copies. Among his most popular titles are My Teacher Is an Alien, Into the Land of the Unicorns, and The Monster’s Ring. Bruce also founded Full Cast Audio, a company that creates recordings of the best in children’s and young adult literature. He lives in Syracuse, New York, with his wife, Katherine.

Katherine Coville is an artist, a sculptor, and a doll maker who specializes in highly detailed images of creatures never before seen in this world. She has illustrated several books written by her husband, Bruce Coville, including Goblins in the Castle, Aliens Ate My Homework, and the Space Brat series.
Bruce and Katherine live in Syracuse, New York, with a varying assortment of pets and children.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: The Cottage on the Hill

I live in a little town called Pigbone.

Its full name is Pigbone-East-of-the-Mountains. I don't know if there is a Pigbone-West-of-the-Mountains. How could I? No one in our town ever goes anywhere.

"Why should we go somewhere else, Edward?" said my mother every time I complained about this. "We have everything we need right here."

I disagreed. What we didn't have was excitement.

Mother and I live in a little cottage at the edge of town.

Everyone in Pigbone lives in a cottage.

The only other kids in Pigbone are two older boys, who are kind of mean, and one new baby. So until Moongobble showed up, I sometimes got pretty lonely.

Behind our cottage is a big hill, very steep.

On top of the hill, right at the edge, sits another cottage, so big it's almost a house. It even has a kind of tower.

A long, twisty path winds up to this cottage, which had been empty for as long as I could remember. This cottage was where I went when I wanted to be alone. In fact, I spent so much time there I almost felt as if it belonged to me. So I was surprised, and a little upset, the day I saw smoke curling out of its chimney.

I ran to my mother.

"Someone has moved into the empty cottage!" I cried.

"Ignore it, Edward," she said. She wiped her hands on her apron and turned back to what she was cooking.

Mother was always cooking or washing or something. Sometimes I could help. Sometimes she just wanted me to get out of the way.

I decided this was a good time to get out of the way.

I also decided that the most out-of-the-way place I could get was up the hill.

I started up the narrow path that led to the cottage. The grass beside the path was as high as my shoulders. Bugs buzzed around me. The sun was warm. I started to sweat.

When I was about halfway up the hill, I turned to look down at Pigbone. I counted the cottages. Fifteen, just like always. Our cottage was the closest. The one farthest away-the biggest and nicest one-belonged to the Rusty Knight.

I started to climb again.

I was out of breath by the time I got to the top.

I had planned to go right up to the cottage door and ask who was living there. Then I saw something that slowed me down. Bursts of green light were coming out of the window!

I decided to do some sneaking. This was something I had practiced a lot, so I was very good at it.

Dropping to my knees, I crawled toward the cottage. I moved very quietly.

As I got closer, I heard voices.

"You know that's not going to work," said one voice. It was deep and raspy.

"Don't be so gloomy!" said the other voice. It was softer and had a friendly sound.

"I'm not gloomy," said the first voice. "I'm honest."

I crept closer. Soon I was just beneath the window.

Vines covered the side of the cottage. Using the vines for support, I lifted my head to peek over the windowsill.

I couldn't believe what I saw!

Copyright © 2003 by Bruce Coville

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Table of Contents


1. The Cottage on the Hill

2. Cheese!

3. Moongobble

4. Helping Moongobble

5. A Problem

6. Fazwad the Mighty

7. The Rusty Knight

8. Getting Ready

9. The Dragon's Cave

10. Another Mistake

11. I Do Some Sneaking

12. The Dragon of Doom

13. Back to the Cottage

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    i dont like it

    i wouldnt recommened this book 2 any1. its weird and too short.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2005

    Great book for kids!!!

    This book as been a great intro to fantasy and magic for my daughter (5 yrs old) She can not get enough of it and gets really upset when I stop reading!!!! It's funny and has a good story line. It might seem scary but its not at all. which was real nice for my daughter. I worked it up,(when reading aloud) like it was real scary but in the end it is very cute!!!! I hope the series would go on further- we have read the first 2 and I just ordered the 3rd!!!Happy Reading!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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