Junior Fiction Shorts #3: Dragon Knight #6: Barbarians!, and Barking Mad

Dragon Knight #6: Barbarians!
by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley

cv_dragon_knight_barbaraiansThis is the sixth and final book in this frequently hilarious series about Merek, a dragon who wants to be a knight, so spends his days in boy-form, attending knight school with his best friend Brin at Lord Crumble’s Castle. Together, Merek and Brin fight bullies, regularly prove that smart beats big, and discover together that being a knight isn’t quite all it is cracked up to be.

In this episode of their story, the Barbarians are at the gate. But when Merek and Brin discover they have actually breached the castle walls, and are looting treasure unexpectedly carefully, they follow them out of the castle. When they are discovered, things go from bad to worse, until help comes from an unexpected quarter. Each of the Dragon Knight stories have occasionally factual inserts, and fantastic illustrations from Donovan Bixley. I recommend the full series as a must-read for anyone who likes the Horrible Histories, or the tales of King Arthur.

Dragon Knight #6: Barbarians!
by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley
Published by Scholastic NZ
ISBN 9781775433972

Barking Mad
by Tom E. Moffatt, illustrated by Paul Beavis

cv_barking_madIf you have the kind of kid that cracks up at absurdities, have I got a book for you! Granddad is behaving like a dog, so he’s being taken to hospital. Fingers doesn’t believe it at first – Granddad’s a tough old inventor who has been known to sew a gash in his leg up with needle & thread rather than go to the hospital for any reason – but when he and his sister get to his house and see Granddad being carted away, he knows something is definitely the matter. Fingers and his sister Sally are baffled, until they realise Granddad’s dog DaVinci is acting a little more sensible than usual.

So while Granddad gets committed for licking the postman and growling like a dog, Fingers and Sally are trying to put the world to rights. A trip to the dog pound for DaVinci doesn’t help matters any, and by the end of the book your head is spinning with how many identity-swaps there has been. This is a well-paced, ably-written book, with the round-about storylines nonetheless staying within their own rules & making for a satisfying read. Paul Beavis’ brilliant illustrations add to the fun. For ages 7-12.

Barking Mad
by Tom E. Moffatt, illustrated by Paul Beavis
Published by Scholastic NZ
ISBN 9781775433743

All reviews written by Sarah Forster
This is the third in a series of reviews of Junior Fiction, here are number one, and number two, for your reading pleasure.

Book Review: Dragon Knight #4 – Dragons! by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley

Available in bookshops nationwide.cv_dragon_knight_dragons

Dragon Knight Book #4: Dragons! is a continuation of the Dragon Knight series in which young shape-shifting dragon Merek is following his dream to become a knight.

This book is set in medieval times, and features an evil dragon called a cyclorg. The cyclorg has seven heads and hates the villagers because they try to take his gold. As expected in medieval tales, there are a lot of action-packed battles and big fighting scenes as well as a few lessons in the time-honoured practice of falconry.

Every page is illustrated with funny action shots, family trees and maps, and the writing style is very humorous.

“The Castle shook as the cyclorg’s fierce cry resounded across the sky. A normal dragon’s call was loud enough, but with it’s seven heads, the cyclorg screech was almost deafening. It wheeled around in a wide arc high above the castle.

SCREEEEEEEECH!


A second cyclorg was close behind.


SCREEEEEEEECH!


A third cyclorg swooped low over the tower. It shot a fiery blast that turned the banners into ashes, then rose to join the others that were flying in formation above, Merek’s whole body tensed, ready to spring into action.”

Author Kyle Mewburn has had over 40 children’s books published in 9 countries! His work has won numerous awards, including the NZ Post Children’s Book of the Year.

Donovan Bixley is an amazing artist with a range of different styles. His work brings another dimension to Kyle’s text, often adding hilarious parts of his own to enhance the storyline.

I recommend boys and some girls aged 6 and over who like action-packed magical stories, for example, Harry Potter, to check out this book. I give this book 3 and a half stars – had I been more of a fan of the genre, I’m sure I would have given it a better rating.

Reviewed by Ava Knowles, Age 9

Dragon Knight #4: Dragons!
by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley
Published by Scholastic NZ
ISBN 9781775432623