While browsing through some online reader copies I came across the second in the Dragons of Ember City book. I knew that most young series (this is for first to lower third grade) would probably need all books read in order to understand most things. Therefore, I asked my local library to locate a copy of Dragons of Ember City V01 Happy Spark Day!
O-M-G! This book has so much sugar it makes the sugar jar seem healthy! Okay, maybe not that much, but there is a lot. In the end the only thing I can say is that this is a cute book. There are multiple dragons (some had the feel that they are from different cultures, some are dinosaur looking dragons, and I would say there are at least a couple nods to My Little Pony and their “evil” dragon and a mixture of Harry Potter’s Dumbledore for the Mayor who is the only adult around) who have finally made it to their Spark Day; which is the day they get that “something special” that makes them unique. Sometimes it is fire or ice breath. Or something like “stinky breath” (yes, they have that kind of humor) but regardless, they must use this talent to help others and to be the best dragon they can be. The story is a familiar one with a familiar moral (we must work together to get the job done), which maybe is a bit cliched, but I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the other books in the series.
Shane Richardson’s story is cutely illustrated by Sarah Marnio who continues the sweet stuff. Everything is bubbly, colorful, some details, and overall simple, but not simplistic. Though the book focuses on two of the male characters, all readers who like fantasy and magic will get a kick out of things.
And then in April 2024 you can read book two, The Midnight Roar! which is also by Richardson and Marnio. This book is equally cute, but since it is very similar to the first (sugar sweet and has a message) it is not as fun or fresh. However, it is still a good story about being afraid and learning you can be braver than you think. This time Li (the green dragon who might be my favorite, though I do like Runa (she’s purple and likes unicorns), and Fizz who reminds me of my youngest nephew, but Drake has some bounce to him…) learns he is brave and that when they are together there is nothing these friends cannot do. There is the humor of before (it is not a roar they hear, but a snore) and a few misdirection to the mystery, but predictable to the adult but that young reader (early learning/chapter reader) or listener will be on the edge of their seat wondering how things will work out.