Sunday, May 1, 2011

Book Review for When A Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore

When a Dragon Moves In

When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore, Illustrated by Howard McWilliam

Flashlight Press
May 1, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0979974670
ASIN: 0979974674
32 Pages
Ages 4–8
Children’s Picture Book Dragons

Jodi Moore considers books, along with chocolate, to be one of the main food groups. She writes both picture books and young adult novels, hoping to challenge, nourish and inspire her readers by opening up brand new worlds and encouraging unique ways of thinking.

Reviewer: Renee Hand

When a Dragon Moves In is a story about friendship, the beach, and a creative imagination.

At the beach for a day of frolicking in the sun with his family, a young boy builds a sandcastle—and that is when the fun begins—for when he builds a sandcastle, an enormous red dragon decides to move in. This is where the boy’s imagination takes flight. The pair spend the rest of the day playing together, becoming fast friends.

Excited about meeting a new friend, the boy tries to explain to his family about his new pet dragon, but no one believes him. They cannot hear the dragon roar, only hear the roar of the ocean. The boy shows them the dragon’s teeth that had fallen out into the sand; they see only seashells.

The boy realizes that there are many bonuses to having a dragon living in his sandcastle. First, he has a built-in marshmallow toaster. He has his very own raft for when he goes swimming, and the dragon makes a great beach defender when the bullies come and try to terrorize the beach.

But there are some disadvantages, too. Like when the dragon eats all the food, blows bubbles in the lemonade, leaves fingerprints in the dessert, and terrorizes the boy’s sister—which the boy, of course, takes the heat for.

Soon the boy’s parents have had enough of all this dragon nonsense and confront the son about it. Will the boy decide that he has had enough too and kick the dragon out of the sandcastle? Or will he defend his new friend in an attempt to get his parents to see that he truly does have a pet dragon who is causing all the tumult?

This 32-page picture book is a cute story about how sometimes our imaginations can run away with us. Though the words and story are simple and charming, the artwork really enhances the story making the book stand out. Howard McWilliam does a phenomenal job depicting each detail, lending humor and expression to characters children will want to look at again and again.

Reviewer Renee Hand is the award-winning author of The Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill adventure series for children. Look for her new release in the series, Case#2: Mineral Mischief.


  1. This looks like a book my daughter would enjoy.

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  2. That looks like a cute one!

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