It’s not often that I sit down and write a book review. As a working mom of two small children I have a busy schedule and not nearly enough time for, well, everything. Since I became a mother a few years ago, most of my “free time” is plunging into the depths of the children’s book market, especially board books, but honestly, any book that will hold their attention for several minutes. We scour the library shelves, the quarter sales, and buy books new and old, so when a new children’s bookstore called Young Bookworms opened in our town sporting all books by self-published authors, we were there.
It was quite a remarkable store, mostly because all the books were new and different from the books we usually find in the children’s section of other stores. My daughter was absolutely enchanted and immediately drawn to a very new release called “Dragon Stones” by Carolyn Watson Dubisch.
So we huddled up in a corner and I read this enchanting little story that not only engaged my daughter and my groggy one year old, but really entertained me as well. I don’t say that lightly as most children’s books these days are not simple fantasy stories written just for fun. Most are tasked with a hidden (or not so hidden) moralistic message that they gently bash you on the head with. Don’t be a bully. Share your toys. Keep track of your money. Learn about the oceans, and it goes on. Of course these books have a place, and many of them have a place on our own children’s book shelf, but I am always looking for that story that was told for fun. To stir a sense of wonder and magic about the world that every child has.
The story opens with Ron and Lizzy visiting their aunt with their parents. They are bored, bored, bored. Ron expresses his boredom with repeated kicks to the coffee table nearly toppling a tray of scones. A bit annoyed, his Aunt Edwina, sends them outside to play, when they venture into the woods next to her charming little cottage (the illustrations are quite wonderful!).
It doesn’t take them long to find the lake, covered in a thick white fog. Ron is clearly the antsy one and hops down to the water’s edge and begins to skip stones. Lizzy, excited to participate, jumps down as well, when she’s struck in the leg by a stone. Puzzled and annoyed, she yells at Ron for throwing rocks at her. It doesn’t take them long to realize the rocks are skipping back at them from across the lake(this mystery really held my daughter’s attention). When the children realized the rocks were not just coming back but hot to the touch and marked with a glowing red symbol, they decided to embark on a mission around the lake to find out what was going on!
It doesn’t take them long to realize the fog is really a thick white smoke and they are overwhelmed with coughs. Emerging from the smoke we lay eyes on the Dragon from the title. He’s big and green, with a charming underbite. My kids LOVE the dragon. He’s cranky and threatening and has the same glowing mark on his back.
The big reveal is Aunt Edwina bursting onto the scene to rescue the children. She had put the mark on the dragon to hold him there and she just happens to be a very powerful witch. Happy to be leaving the dragon’s lair, the children venture back to Aunt Edwina’s home. It ends with hints of future adventures, which I absolutely hope to be the case. If you’re looking for some new books for your children’s bookshelf, Dragon Stones is a must have.