Benjamin wanders too far from home one day and stumbles into Dragon Wood. In this tale of boy meets dragon, the unexpected happens–dragon meets boy.
The cover art by Gwen Millward drew me into Timothy Knapman’s quirky little tale. Her forest reminded me of the Truffula Trees in The Lorax, albeit on a smaller scale (and perhaps not as poofy). They frame Benjamin and the Dragon on a clever, die-cut cover.
I admit that I goofed while reading the story for the first time. I got confused. I had to flip back to the beginning to understand Knapman’s brilliant twist on a familiar theme. When editors tell aspiring authors they want to see fresh ideas in picture books, Guess What I Found serves as a perfect example.
“What kind of review is this?” I hear you asking. “She’s not telling me anything about the book!” Oh yeah, sorry ’bout that. If I tell you too much about the Benjamin’s quest, I’ll ruin the surprise.
“Wait a second, did she just call him ‘the Benjamin?’ Must be a typo. What a sorry excuse for a blogger.” Um, I must inform you, that was no typo.
So okay, calm down. I’ll tell you that I loved the striped boots, the whirly wee-woo boxes and the soccer goalposts. And I can’t forget the volcano-sitting lessons! If you want to know more than that, you’ll have to stumble into Dragon Wood yourself.
Don’t get lost!
Guess What I Found in Dragon Wood
Story by Timothy Knapman
Illustrations by Gwen Millward
Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, December 2007
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