9) When A Dragon Moves In
Written by: Jodi Moore
Illustrated by: Howard McWilliam
I picked this book up because I’m slowly realizing my book preferences as a girl, and felt like I should buy a book for the boys in my future classes. It turned out to be a great book for either gender! It is about a family who goes to the beach for a day. The little boy builds a perfect sandcastle, and imagines all the things that would happen if a dragon moved in. His dragon gets him in trouble for different things all day long, and he finally gets fed up. They go home and the little boy vows to never build a perfect sandcastle again…until tomorrow. We find out that really, there wasn’t a dragon, the little boy is just misbehaving and blaming it on his “imaginary friend”.
Each picture in the book really captures the “beachy” feel. The illustrations in the book are drawn with a pencil and then colored with acrylic paint. Everything is very colorful and gives a cartoon representation of all characters and activities. Some pictures take up an entire page. Other pages contain two, three, or four different illustrations. That kept the book interesting!
I would use this book in a classroom up to fourth grade. It is a little too juvenile for older students, but would be a good read aloud for younger ones. They could even read it during free reading. It is a good story to help teach the fantasy genre. You could use it in a lesson about chronological order, as well.