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5.0 1
by Gina Wilson, P.J. Lynch (Illustrator)

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"Lynch gives his smokeless saurian . . . large, liquid, forward-facing eyes that positively broadcast appeal." — KIRKUS REVIEWS

Even though he can run faster and fly higher than any of his friends, Ignis the young dragon is still sad. There’s just one thing he can’t do: breathe fire. So Ignis leaves Dragonland on a quest -


"Lynch gives his smokeless saurian . . . large, liquid, forward-facing eyes that positively broadcast appeal." — KIRKUS REVIEWS

Even though he can run faster and fly higher than any of his friends, Ignis the young dragon is still sad. There’s just one thing he can’t do: breathe fire. So Ignis leaves Dragonland on a quest - meeting unforgettable friends, sharing wonderful times, and feeling truly warm inside. But when will he discover the spark he needs to be a real dragon? Dazzling illustrations by the award-winning P.J. Lynch light up a magical, heartwarming tale.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A young dragon's quest for his fire fuels this cloying, fantastic tale about self-discovery. Ignis, a spirited dragonlet with beautiful wings, can run and fly faster than his sister and all his friends in Dragonland. Yet Ignis's peers outshine him in one crucial area: fire breathing. Feeling confused and inadequate, Ignis searches the land far and wide trying to find his fire and his true identity. On his travels he meets a human girl whose friendship and belief in him set Ignis on the right path. Wilson's (Prowlpuss) story never takes flight, lumbering along under the weight of sappy imagery (e.g., "His wings, depending on the weather, opened like silk umbrellas or gossamer parasols") and a precious spiritual message (when Ignis breathes fire atop a dormant volcano, the elders mistake it for "Mysteries and Miracles and Flames That Light Up the World"). Many of Lynch's (The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey) dark pencil and watercolor compositions, especially landscapes viewed by Ignis from the air, bring readers to the brink of a mysterious, magical world. But his depictions of a wide-eyed, anthropomorphic Ignis are inferior to the fine portraits of the elder dragons and of Cara, Ignis's human friend, resulting in an uneven outing. Ages 4-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Dragons have come a long way since Fafnir. Ignis, a young dragon in search of his identity, seems very human indeed—a dragonlet with a grandmother and a best friend. Since he can do everything a dragon should except breathe fire, Ignis sets out on a journey to find a source of ignition. After encounters with a hippo, a parrot and a little girl named Cara, he finds his fire in the crater of a volcano and returns triumphantly to Dragonland. Ignis is a visually appealing addition to a library of dragon lore, although it is a bit unsettling to see a real dragon tamely making daisy chains and lapping up honey while looking for his true self. Kate Greenaway medalist P. J. Lynch has captured more of the dragon grandeur¾his spectacular watercolors, tinged with light and fire, stretch out to fill the large format of the book. Some young dragon-lovers will, no doubt, be relieved to find that dragons have such tender emotions, while others may prefer them more fierce and remote. Parents and teachers might like to pair this book with Jack Prelutsky's The Dragons are Singing Tonight for a little bracing dragon humor. 2001, Candlewick, $16.99. Ages 6 to 9. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Lynch's considerable talent is tested on this predictable tale of a young dragon that cannot puff. Marred by a Disneyesque dialogue (with none of the comic relief), the plot centers on Ignis's quest for his flame/true identity. Sidekick Scintilla tells him she loves him regardless, but he is still compelled to go off in search of it. Ignis takes up the lifestyle of a hippo, parrot, and child-to no avail. It is only in his darkest hour, at the peak of a dormant volcano, that "-the very last spark from the volcano's very last eruption, one hundred years ago, came wandering out into the open, weak and wavering and looking for somewhere to light." Ignis is ignited at last. Close-ups of the protagonist and his friend are a touch too precious; the coquettish glances and exaggerated earnestness are at odds with the power of the artist's gouache-and-watercolor spreads depicting subtly shaded vistas, dappled pond water viewed from below, a dramatically lit volcano, and masterful portraiture. Fans of The Land before Time videos will gravitate to this offering. Inspired alternatives include Marguerite Davol's The Paper Dragon (Atheneum, 1997), Jay Williams's Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like (Macmillan, 1984), and Peter S's's Komodo! (Greenwillow, 1993).-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Winged, scaled, and irresistibly puppyish, the young dragon in this searching-for-self-identity tale will appeal more to Stellaluna fans than those who prefer their dragons grandly aloof. Ignis may run faster and fly higher than any of his circle, but since he can't breathe fire, he feels like no dragon at all. As it turns out, he lacks only priming for the pump; after hanging out with Poto the hippo, Loquax the parrot, and Cara, a human child, he struggles to the top of a volcano and by accident inhales a spark that really ignites the internal burners. In page-filling, elaborately detailed scenes, Lynch gives his smokeless saurian mottled, rough-looking skin, a spiky profile, and large, liquid, forward-facing eyes that positively broadcast appeal. Ignis returns in triumph, to impress even the craggy elders with great gouts of flame-proving that he's not a fizzle, but like Leo, just a late bloomer. (Picture book. 7-9)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
9.08(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.17(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Gina Wilson teaches creative writing and has written several novels for young adults, a book of poetry for children, and three picture books for young children, including PROWLPUSS, which THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW called "a thoroughly delightful tale."

P.J. Lynch is the illustrator of many children’s picture books, including GRANDAD'S PRAYERS OF THE EARTH, written by Douglas Wood, Susan Wojciechowski’s THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF JONATHAN TOOMEY, and Amy Hest’s WHEN JESSIE CAME ACROSS THE SEA, all three of which were awarded the Christopher Medal. Of IGNIS, he says, "I have always found dragons the most fascinating of beasts, but in most stories they are just plain nasty, so it was nice to be able to show that dragons have feelings, too."

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Ignis 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The pictures are great, I loved the story, it made me feel happy. Plus I'm a fan of dragons.