Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Dear Dragon by Josh Funk

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Title: Dear Dragon

Author: Josh Funk | Illustrator: Rodolfo Montalvo

Publisher: Viking | Published: September 6, 2016

Theme:  Pen Pal and Friendship

Character Origin: Human & Dragon

Book Type: Picture Book  | Pages: 40

Ages: 4-8 | Book Level: 2.8 | Lexile Measure: 560L

Book Synopsis…

A sweet and clever friendship story in rhyme, about looking past physical differences to appreciate the person (or dragon) underneath.

George and Blaise are pen pals, and they write letters to each other about everything: their pets, birthdays, favorite sports, and science fair projects. There’s just one thing that the two friends don’t know: George is a human, while Blaise is a dragon! What will happen when these pen pals finally meet face-to-face?

My overall thoughts…

If you are a fan of Josh Funk, this flaming good book won’t come as a surprise.  I hadn’t thought about having a pen pall since grade school. I thoroughly enjoyed Funk’s approach to this book. The students started as strangers, addressing each other by Dear First Name Last Name but as their relationship evolved; so did their salutation and the brevity of their conversation. Funk’s ability to bring people together is a thing of beauty. This is definitely a book that you should add to your collection.

The illustrations and text…

Per the copyright page, the artwork is created with watercolors, black acrylic ink, and graphite. Montalvo’s drawings are full of beautiful detail filled with variations of greens, yellows, and blues which pairs with the characters. It was a nice touch to have two distinct fonts for George and Blaise. It adds more authenticity to the story. I liked how the letters between the students were written on a piece of paper. Now that was a good pairing between illustration and text. The font size and style were appropriate for a young reader. The flow of the rhyming text was steady and wasn’t at all cheesy.

I’ll give it…

Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Lost in the Library by Josh Funk

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Title: Lost in the Library

Author: Josh Funk | Illustrator: Stevie Lewis

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. | Published: August 28, 2018

Theme:  Friendship

Character Origin: Animals

Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 40

Ages: 4-8 | Book Level: 3.8 | Lexile Measure:

Synopsis: Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude is the first picture book about Patience and Fortitude, the two lion statues that faithfully guard the New York Public Library. When Patience goes missing, Fortitude realizes the secret to Patience’s disappearance may be within the Library itself.

My thoughts…

This is a welcoming book that piques the curiosity of the reader from the very first page. It reminded me of a scavenger hunt. The context is reminiscent of Night in the Museum. The elements that Funk brought to life within the Library itself were a nice touch. The reader gets to identify and connect with Fortitude and Patience while learning about their friendship. Not only that but they get to take a peek into some really cool spaces within the Library.

Lewis’ illustrations were masterfully executed. The lions were welcoming yet majestic at the same time. Funk’s proses are filled with such imagination and creative rhymes.  I loved reading this story and I’m sure your kids will too. The Library is alive and full of adventures. All you have to do is open a book and see for yourself. Your next adventure is only a page away. I will be adding the New York Public Library to places to my bucket list.

My rating…