Dragonterra by Louise Flanagan
A magical Irish fantasy-adventure series for emerging readers
Did you know that the best way to communicate with dragons is silently, through touch? Were you aware that dragon eggs might smell like popcorn, candyfloss, coconuts, apple tart or hot chocolate? Or that in addition to being one of the most beautiful parts of the world, Donegal hides a portal that leads to a secret world of dragons?
Learn all of this and more, while meeting a host of magical creatures, in Dragonterra! This is an exciting new fantasy series for emerging readers. The stories are about two eight-year-old boys, Evan and Conor, who embark on an important mission after journeying to Dragonterra. They must help restore power to the dragons by finding their missing eggs. There are six books in the collection and each one focuses on a specific part of the quest. Dragonterra is home to lots of interesting and exotic animals. We meet kipsons, waydees, elomers, mothellas, subulas, snapodees, snowsnakes and sambleboos and of course Lucy the wozzlet. We travel across oceans, climb snow-covered mountains and delve deep into jungles. The boys use enchanted umbrellas, feathers and disappearing dust to help them overcome a variety of challenges. Meanwhile, an evil wizard attempts to thwart their attempts to locate all five dragon eggs.
I really loved the intergenerational relationship between Evan and Conor and their grandfather. Grandad never lost his sense of fun and is a wonderful support to the boys. He has a delicious mug of hot chocolate waiting for Evan and Conor at the end of every adventure and he's also integral to their operation's success.
These stories are incredibly imaginative and the narrative flows beautifully with perfect pacing. Lively illustrations appear throughout the text and add to each story's appeal. I love the maps at the back of each book that become populated with place names as different parts of Dragonterra are explored. It's fantastic to see so many Irish locations referenced. It was particularly exciting when our home-from-home, Killybegs, was mentioned in Chapter 3! As the books are small and short, the print is large and the text is broken-up by illustrations, these stories are ideal for beginner, struggling or reluctant readers. They won't intimidate or overwhelm emerging readers. Author Louise Flanagan is a parent and secondary school teacher who originally wrote these books for her own children to enjoy during lockdown. The Dragonterra adventures demonstrate that with patience and hope, anything is possible, which is a wonderful message for little readers to learn.