June 3, 2010

Kenny and the Dragon

Kenny and the Dragon is Tony DiTerlizzi's modern update of Kenneth Grahame's The Reluctant Dragon.  See how he gets the original author's names in there?  He gets a few mentions of the author himself and his works into the story as well as other literary works.  In fact, the power of stories to influence us as civilized beings is a strong thread in the book, along with chess, conversation and excellent food (especially desserts).

Kenny the rabbit discovers a nonviolent and thoughtful dragon living on their property just outside the village of Roundbrook.  Of course the book he has borrowed from his friend George describes dragons as scourge that must be met with "imminent extermination" and, of course, the king calls upon Kenny's chess-playing old pal George to come out of retirement as, you guessed it, a dragon-slaying knight in armor!

What's to be done?  Especially when the townsfolk are expecting a battle to the death.  No surprises here but a great good time and a fantastic read-aloud for my daughter.  Her only complaint?  Not enough illustrations of the love interest, Charlotte.  She really wanted to see one of Charlotte dressed up as a lovely damsel in the end, but while there are many gorgeous illustration throughout the book, there is only one featuring the doe-eyed Charlotte who makes Kenny go red in the cheeks.

This would make for an excellent old-school animated film.  Somebody, get right on that.

Read as part of my county's Reader's Rally book challenge.