Mindel and the Misfit Dragons: A Magical Tale by an Ancient Hand

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Castle Draconmere has always hosted dragons. Initially, the castle was guarded by a benevolent pair who lived in the caves beneath the castle. Unfortunately, they were driven out by an evil dragon, who terrorized the countryside until the king tasked Sir Benjamin to solve the problem. Sir Benjamin slew the dragon and received Draconmere as his reward. He, his wife, and his daughter, Mindel, loved their new home, but they still encountered setbacks. Drafts blew out the candles, no matter how matter how many tapestries they hung. They also needed someone to guard the gates while the family observed the Sabbath. And someone was destroying the sacred scrolls. It looked like the family would have to leave when eight-year-old Mindel decided that she would find solutions so she could stay in her home. Her search led her to the misfit dragons. The dragons were having trouble finding the place in the world, due to their undragonlike quirks. One loved to swim. Another had small, precise flames that wouldn’t scare anyone. The third treasured books. They’re perfectly suited to help Mindel. Everyone would be happy if only they could figure out who’s damaging the scrolls.

Michaels has written this simple fairy tale in rhyming, four-line stanzas. While the sing-song cadence suits the subject matter, I stumbled frequently on the awkward sentence structure necessitated by the rhyme scheme. The book would be a good read aloud for a younger audience, but I don’t think it can be read well independently, due to the elaborate font, illuminated letters, and contorted sentence structure. By the time a reader would be old enough to overcome these challenges, the plot would be too obvious to entertain. I enjoyed precocious Mindel’s interactions with the quirky dragons and the glimpses of her family’s Jewish culture, and would recommend this book as a fun introduction to Jewish religious practices.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 204 pages
Publisher Alcabal Press
Publish Date 14-Nov-2014
ISBN 9781941067000
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue December 2014
Category Children's


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