Dragon Night is one of those books after reading (and even while reading) I was thinking, “Do I/did I like this?” The answer is, “YesBut.” A “YesBut” is: Yes, I liked 99.9% of this But there is something I do not.
And the thing is, I am not sure what it is about J.R. Krause’s story about being afraid of the dark and overcoming it, about the meaning of words night and knight and about friends and special friendships that is just a smidgen off. After all it is a grand imagination tale with some unique illustrations. What is not to love?
Maybe it was because it is literally too dark as it is set almost completely at night. Maybe it is because reading out loud makes the Night/Knight issue less obvious then when you see it on the page. Maybe it was because, since it is dark, there are limited colors. Though the blues and blacks are soothing and pleasant. When there is a “light color” (as when the dragon arrives and leaves in a golden light) that makes the brighter color even more vibrant and important.
When reading Dragon Night, you need to be comfortable, with no distractions and ready for relaxation time. This is a cozy book that should be slowly digested and enjoyed. You could frame the illustrations as they have an agreeable and charming atmosphere about them.
The actual story of the book is not new (fear, bravery and friendship) but this is a fresh, new presentation of a classic storyline.