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Dragonalia by Chris Barnardo {4.5 Stars}

Dragonalia by Chris Barnardo is a collection of ’14 tales and craft projects for the creative adventurer’ and it is adorable. I had no idea what the expect, but I ended up really loving the stories and the larger picture of Sir Richard Barons’ life dragon hunting that they collectively told, and the crafts look fun and pretty easy! I haven’t tackled any of the crafts yet personally, but with a hot glue gun, you can make some pretty spiffy looking dragons eggs from the looks of it ;-). This is the perfect book for a parent and child to read together and then spend the afternoon crafting.

Note: I received a copy of Dragonalia from the publisher.

Dragonalia by Chris Barnardo {4.5 Stars}

Dragonalia by Chris Barnardo
Published by Skyhorse Publishing on Nov. 3rd, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 96 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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Dragonolia is a storybook with a difference. Discover 14 charming tales, where each one is intertwined with an exciting craft project enabling the reader to relive the amazing adventures of Sir Richard Barons, the famous 19th century dragon hunter.
Learn how to make an antique-looking Box Frame while reading about the tale of the Mischievous Mink; or perhaps you might like to find out how to easily craft the fabulous Wizards’ Wand that brought the dying dragon, Angeline, back to life at the last minute; or even make a real-life Dreamcatcher to hang above your bed as you follow Sir Richard Barons into the Brazilian jungle on the trail of the Celestial Dragon Spirit to cure his niece of the horrible nightmares she suffered after she banged her head falling off her horse.
The stories, written in an imaginative Victorian style befitting of the great adventurer, fit perfectly round their accompanying craft projects, which being beautifully laid out in simple, easy-to-follow steps, ensure a truly immersive and rewarding experience for the reader and listener alike.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:

  • The writing of the stories was an unexpected strength of Dragonalia. I honestly would have been delighted with just the stories, they are written so charmingly. I had trouble balancing my attention between the craft instructions and the story since I wanted to read both at once, haha.
  • One of my favorite things about this style of adventure story is the breaking of the fourth wall. I really felt like I was involved in Sir Barons’ adventures since he was talking directly to me and telling me how to make similar items to what he used in his adventures.
  • Crafted items can be a bit hit or miss in terms of aesthetics, but from the pictures of the actual final products, I’m quite impressed. I kind of want to make the mini dragon egg necklace just to wear!
  • I wasn’t sure how much integration there would be between the stories and crafts, but each story is completely about the item for the craft project and encourages the reader to make their own, but not in a cheesy way.
  • The majority of the crafts can be achieved with a glue gun, paint and household items. There are a couple that use oven-bake clay, but otherwise it’s all pretty easy stuff to get.

Weaknesses:

  • The author is in England and that is obvious in a few references to items that aren’t as common in the United States or aren’t shaped the same way. You might have to get creative to find alternatives if you aren’t in the UK.
  • The main character is from the nineteenth century and that is obvious at times in how he discusses island people on some of his adventures. I was a bit disappointed to see those stereotypes being perpetuated, since it seems that they aren’t even historically accurate.

Summary:

Dragonalia is a great gift for a kid who loves fantasy and dragons and also likes crafting. I’d recommend preparing by getting the supplies for the various activities together, since the stories will make young readers want to start crafting right away! Such a great book for a kids party or a fun afternoon, and fun for us older kids to read too ;-).

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Dragonalia by Chris Barnardo

© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.

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