Check out my interview with Josh Funk.
Title: Dear Dragon
Author: Josh Funk | Illustrator: Rodolfo Montalvo
Publisher: Viking | Published: September 6, 2016
Theme: Pen Pal and Friendship
Character Origin: Human & Dragon
Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 40
Ages: 4-8 | Book Level: 2.8 | Lexile Measure: 560L
A sweet and clever friendship story in rhyme, about looking past physical differences to appreciate the person (or dragon) underneath.
George and Blaise are pen pals, and they write letters to each other about everything: their pets, birthdays, favorite sports, and science fair projects. There’s just one thing that the two friends don’t know: George is a human, while Blaise is a dragon! What will happen when these pen pals finally meet face-to-face?
My overall thoughts…
If you are a fan of Josh Funk, this flaming good book won’t come as a surprise. I hadn’t thought about having a pen pall since grade school. I thoroughly enjoyed Funk’s approach to this book. The students started as strangers, addressing each other by Dear First Name Last Name but as their relationship evolved; so did their salutation and the brevity of their conversation. Funk’s ability to bring people together is a thing of beauty. This is definitely a book that you should add to your collection.
The illustrations and text…
Per the copyright page, the artwork is created with watercolors, black acrylic ink, and graphite. Montalvo’s drawings are full of beautiful detail filled with variations of greens, yellows, and blues which pairs with the characters. It was a nice touch to have two distinct fonts for George and Blaise. It adds more authenticity to the story. I liked how the letters between the students were written on a piece of paper. Now that was a good pairing between illustration and text. The font size and style were appropriate for a young reader. The flow of the rhyming text was steady and wasn’t at all cheesy.
I’ll give it…