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Why rules are made to be broken

Do Not Disturb the Dragons by Michelle Robinson and Sharon Davey

Do Not Disturb the Dragons by Michelle Robinson and Sharon Davey

Find out why it’s important to let sleeping trolls drool, how to tame a unicorn, and why you shouldn’t stand at the wrong end of one. Discover the various uses for witch wax and giants’ toenails and, most importantly, learn why rules are made to be broken! Do Not Disturb the Dragons is not just informative - it’s an entertaining and action-packed adventure with so many laugh-out-loud moments.

Princess Grace and Princess Portia long to have the same freedom as boys. Everything they want to do, from wearing trousers to being knights, and even writing books, is against the rules for girls. In the kingdom of Wondermere, where they live, everyone adheres to these rules rigidly for fear of annoying the dragons that roost in the castle turrets. Dragons are considered lucky and even their dung, which regularly drops from the sky (usually falling on Princess Grace), is believed to bring good fortune.

Wondermere, where the story is set, is one of the most enchanting fictional places I’ve ever visited. Author Michelle Robinson has crafted a convincing and compelling world filled with clever and hilarious details. The game of troll-o (which involves whacking "ball-trolls" with mallets) is genius and I’d love to see it played in real life.

It’s brilliant to see Grace and Portia smash all the sexist rules and follow their hearts despite the limits placed upon them because of their gender. This fantastic story challenges gender stereotypes and features girls who long to be knights and a stable boy (or imp) who’d like to be a princess. Do Not Disturb the Dragons encourages readers to pursue their dreams and ignore anyone who tells them that they can’t do something.

Sharon Davey’s illustrations are amazing, breathe even more life into the story and the characters, and add to the comedy. I love when books include maps of the realms that exist within their pages and there’s a wonderful one at the start of this story. It’s fantastic to see so many Black, Asian and minority ethnic protagonists too.

We're huge fans of Michelle Robinson's picture books, so I was intrigued when I saw she had written a book for older readers. Do Not Disturb the Dragons is every bit as excellent as you might expect from this talented author. My kids (almost four and almost six) are mad about this too. I’ve been reading it aloud to them but was enjoying it so much myself, I had to read ahead without them. I was delighted to discover this is the first in a series. The sequel, Do Not Mess with the Mermaids, releases in July 2021 - can't wait!

About the author: Michelle Robinson has written over 40 books for young people. Her work has won several awards including the Lollies Laugh Out Loud Book Award, Sainsbury's Children's Book Award, the Stockport Children's Book Award and the North Somerset Teachers' Book Awards. Find out more about Michelle, her books and her best writing tips on her website.

About the illustrator:

Sharon Davey is a children's illustrator based in Surrey, England. She loves to draw grumpy kids and comical animals, and enjoys sliding down stairs on her bottom and collecting plastic dinosaurs. Sharon has illustrated many bestselling books, including one of our favourites, I Don’t Like Books. Never Ever. The End, and you see more of her work on her website.

Watch a video of Michelle Robinson reading a chapter from Do Not Disturb the Dragons and see Sharon Davey draw a dragon

Do Not Disturb the Dragons was published by Bloomsbury in July 2020 - see this book on the publisher's website

Read Picture Book Snob's review of She Rex by Michelle Robinson and Deborah Allwright

Read Picture Book Snob's review of The World Made a Rainbow by Michelle Robinson and Emily Hamilton

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