Flynn and Paddy, our two intrepid dragon hunters, are back. This time they become bored and decide to explore the attic. When they find a map of their island that shows a dragon hatchery, or course they must go and find it. As often happens to brave explorers, adventure ensues. The dragons hatch just as the boys and their faithful dog Coco arrive. In what looks like a reenactment of Jurassic World, the dragonets chase the boys back down the slope. One little hatchling imprints on the boys and follows them home, where they have to figure out how to raise a dragon.
James Russell's jaunty rhyming text swoops us up and carries us into the story. Parents and teachers will be pleased to see words such as horde, jolt, din, and amiss. Young readers will be expanding their vocabularies while they delight in the story. And most of them will probably agree that "The only cure for boredom (as all smart children know) is, of course, to go somewhere you're not allowed to go."
Link Choi's illustrations bring the story to vibrant life. Full color artwork captures moments such as Paddy laughing at Flynn's singed sandwich, or the way the boys gape at the hatching dragons with their mouths hanging open in shock. There are also pencil sketches showing Paddy in his pajamas making sandwiches for their expedition, or the sly grins the boys give each other as their mother scolds them for being late to dinner. My favorite scene is the dragon licking the Flynn's face while Coco sniffs at its long tail.
But beyond all that, there is even more. Using the AR Reads app, readers of all ages may explore the world of Flynn and Paddy's island in interactive 3D. The large map found in the endpapers of the book comes alive with motion and sound. The giggles of the boys, the whoosh of the dragon's flames, the roaring of a waterfall, all drift out of the scene. And we can see the dragon swoop in and out of view, the boys running down the mountain from the cave, or the flickering on the Ridge of Rising Flames. There is a video demonstration available at http://bit.ly/2eQbQeD.
Young readers will love having a new dragon story to read and re-read. This is only the second adventure starring these brave brothers builds on the first and leads easily into the next. After all, once you have hunted dragon and tamed one, you must progress to riding. Right?
Highly recommended for ages 4+. I read an e-book provided by the publishers through edelweiss.