Raising Dragons

Raising Dragons

5.0 4
by Jerdine Nolen, Elise Primavera
     
 

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When a dragon hatches on her pa’s farm, a young girl finds a best friend. At first Ma and Pa are wary of Hank, but it’s not long before they see him as their daughter does--and welcome the baby dragon into their family. As it turns out, Hank is not cut out for farm life, but still, he warms the hearts of those around him and leaves a legacy that no one… See more details below

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Overview


When a dragon hatches on her pa’s farm, a young girl finds a best friend. At first Ma and Pa are wary of Hank, but it’s not long before they see him as their daughter does--and welcome the baby dragon into their family. As it turns out, Hank is not cut out for farm life, but still, he warms the hearts of those around him and leaves a legacy that no one will ever forget.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"In this enchanting blend of the real and unreal, a spunky girl welcomes a tiny dragon into her family's home," said PW in a starred review. Ages 6-9. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3A pig-tailed, snub-nosed, African-American girl tells how an egg she finds on a "Sunday-before-supper walk" helps her discover her true callingraising dragons. Out of the egg comes a hatchling that she names Hank, and until crowds and undue attention force him to leave, he and the girl share everything from bedtime stories to nighttime flights under the stars. Although the narrator boohoos a heap when forced to say good-bye to Hank, she leaves him in his tropical homeland with the hope of seeing him againand with a wheelbarrow full of dragon eggs to care for. The warm, colloquial narrative has patterns and pacing reminiscent of the oral tradition. Clever supporting details are provided by the acrylic and pastel illustrations, beginning with the Old World-style map that depicts Dragon Island and Oceanus Dragonicus. The changing expressions on the creature's face, the dragon-shaped cloud after Hank has left, and the airline serving Dragon Island (Air Dragon, of course) are all illustrative details that enrich the text. That the girl brings new dragon eggs home to the exact location Hank was forced to vacate because of attracting so many crowds may puzzle some very astute listeners, but most will be absorbed by a joyous tale of friendship and adventure.Faith Brautigan, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
Horn
There's no telling what crop will sprout on or near a Jerdine Nolen farm. In her whimsical Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm, balloons, like so many shiny lollipops, grow to the "best, prettiest" perfection. Now, from an opalescent egg found near the young heroine's family farm, hatches a tiny dragon whom she names Hank, declaring, "I knew I was his girl and he was my dragon." Sensible Ma and Pa hold little truck with imaginary critters, but their good nature has spawned a daughter respectful of all living things. Her parents begin to change their minds when Pa discovers his field turned over and his seeds sown and when Hank saves Ma's withering tomato crop. Nolen's chimerical text meets its match in Primavera's imaginative and bold acrylic and pastel illustrations-even the hot-fuschia lettering of the title hints at the outrageous and exuberant play to come. Author and artist both reach their peak when Hank's enthusiastically planted corn crop overflows, and his ingenuity results in "the first dragon-popped popcorn anybody ever saw or tasted." Primavera pictures the (African-American) family threesome with faces upturned in delighted amazement as they each hold out a bucket to capture the popcorn, which bursts like huge flakes of cotton-white snow over the fanciful farm terrain and purple homestead; the distant plowed fields radiate out like the rays of the setting sun. Even Hank's sad departure does not dampen this book's loving spirit: he calls his girl "Cupcake" and gifts her with a wheelbarrow full of dragon eggs.
Kirkus Reviews
Nolen (Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm, 1994) unearths some unique livestock in this tale of a farmer's daughter who braves her parents' skepticism to hatch and raise a flying, fire-breathing dragon. Initially no bigger than a sheep, Hank the dragon grows to the size of a barn; even though he is a sloppy eater, he proves handy around the farm, popping a whole field of corn all at once and raising tomatoes that a neighbor claims cured her gout. In Primavera's glowing acrylics, Hank looms like an iridescent Dinosaur Bob over his bright-eyed, pig-tailed companion, smiling with a puppy-like friendliness as he listens to a bedtime story or catches sight of a gigantic eel pot pie coming his way. Public attention eventually forces him to move to the volcanic island where the other dragons live, but he leaves behind a wheelbarrow full of glowing eggs as a parting present. A fresh and cheery tall tale, told in an appropriately matter-of-fact tone. (Picture book. 6-9)

From the Publisher

"A joyous tale of friendship and adventure."--School Library Journal
"This magical tale of friendship will send youngsters scurrying to find (or invent) a dragon of their own."--Los Angeles Times
[star]"Enchanting . . . Youngsters will hanker to go on this journey; it will set their imaginations soaring."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152012885
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/28/1998
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 11.38(h) x 0.36(d)
Lexile:
AD670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A joyous tale of friendship and adventure."—School Library Journal
"This magical tale of friendship will send youngsters scurrying to find (or invent) a dragon of their own."—Los Angeles Times
[star]"Enchanting . . . Youngsters will hanker to go on this journey; it will set their imaginations soaring."—Publishers Weekly

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