Before this, I’d only read the Spiderwick Chronicles, which DiTerlizzi illustrated and cowrote with Holly Black. I’ve always been interested in both authors since reading those books but hadn’t picked up more of their work. So, I was happy when a friend loaned me a copy of Kenny & the Dragon to try. I thought I’d love it as much as I did the Spiderwick Chronicles, but, unfortunately, I didn’t.
Kenny & the Dragon, book 1
Kenny is a little rabbit with a very big problem. His two best friends are heading into a battle of legendary proportions—with each other! In one corner there’s Grahame, a well-read and cultured dragon with sophisticated tastes. In the other there’s George, a retired knight and dragon slayer who would be content to spend the rest of his days in his bookshop. Neither really wants to fight, but the village townsfolk are set on removing Grahame from their midst and calling George out of retirement. Can Kenny avert disaster?
Tony DiTerlizzi puts a fun-filled, thoroughly theatrical spin on Kenneth Grahame’s classic tale of subterfuge and showmanship with this lighthearted romp of a retelling. (Goodreads)
Kenny & the Dragon is a middle grade fantasy story about a young rabbit named Kenny who’s fascinated by dragons and was overjoyed to finally meet one when Grahame the dragon took up residence on his father’s land.
The bestiaries Kenny has read warned him that dragons are dangerous, but after getting to know Grahame, Kenny realizes that isn’t always so and befriends the dragon. But the villagers all fear the dragon and Kenny’s best friend, a retired knight and dragon slayer named George, is recruited to get rid of the dragon. Now Kenny is in a pickle as he tries to come up with a plan to prevent his best friends from killing each other.
I’m sure this is a fun story. Actually, I know younger me would have loved this story and started to reread it soon after finishing it. Unfortunately, present me was majorly bored the entire time I spent reading this. I just wasn’t interested at all and didn’t find anything about it to be exciting or interesting. However, I do like the story’s emphasis on getting to know a person first instead of judging them based on appearances and gossip, as the villagers did to Grahame.
The illustrations were the only things that appealed to me. DiTerlizzi’s illustrations are amazing and I admired the ones I saw throughout this book. I got the impression that they are probably all pencil drawings. They aren’t in color, but they are still very detailed and very appealing.
Overall: ★★☆☆☆ ½
A quick middle grade fantasy story about not judging based on appearances. Although I found it boring, the story is well crafted and will most likely interest its intended audience. The illustrations are all great.