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The Dragon in The Closet, Dragon’s Journey: Issue #3

The Dragon in The Closet, Dragon’s Journey issue number three sees the Dragon take flight. Dragon is flying north to help Orin face his monsters and defeat his family curse. In route Orin must survive being attacked by a tree and cave imps if he’s ever to reach the Ghostwood Tree. Meanwhile, Lucy and Nana set off to meet up with Dragon and Orrin and face their own dangers. They face a shapeshifting lion in The Candy Cottage where Lucy must gather her courage to face the lion. Will they reach their destination or will they succumb to the horrors of the forest?

This is a wonderfully imaginative children’s comic book that moves quickly. Each page has edge to edge artwork that has a consistent artistic style throughout. Each piece is a delightful sketch art piece that captures the emotion of all the characters in each scene. I liked the artwork that accompanied the opening to ‘How to Kidnap a Dragon’ because I felt that it really captures the adventure inherent in this intrepid story, and it was well drawn as well.

This is issue three in the series and readers are dropped right into the middle of the action, so if you haven’t read issues one and two then I would recommend you do so. This is a very creative story and I never knew where the story would go. Monsters pop up nearly every other page, even a sweet old lady hides something dangerous, and the children are learning something new about the world and their past. The bits of backstory and lore that is slowly revealed in this story is intriguing and I can’t wait to uncover the rest in future issues.

The Dragon in The Closet, Dragon’s Journey: Issue #3 takes readers on a lively adventure through a magical realm where, it seems, anything can happen. Readers will be enthralled with this quick fantasy comic book that captures the imagination with charming artwork and an interesting use of magic. If you’re looking for a fun young adult comic book then I highly recommend Carolyn Watson Dubisch’s entertaining series.

Pages: 72 | ASIN : B0B3897FT7

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Above Us

Above Us by Angela Herrera is a bilingual story with beautiful imagery that explores what’s above us. From our hands in the air giving high fives, to bubbles floating in the air to what clouds look like in the sky and even the universe, we look into the endless possibilities of how children view the world around them. The author invites readers to use their senses when exploring their surroundings, from touching to hearing to seeing, making this a great sensory read for young readers.

Herrera’s words are illustrated by Alvaro Agurto and provide readers with bright, colorful images with different shapes that will immediately captivate children’s attention. I appreciate that this book is in English and Spanish as kids are sponges and will take in what they learn, and a second language will be added to the list. The author encourages children to count the balloons, say the colors of the images in the book, and to even use their imagination when it comes to looking at clouds in the sky.

Above us is a mentally stimulating and interactive read that is perfect to read to little ones as it will get the creative juices flowing and have you look at the world around you from a different perspective. I highly recommend this book to young readers and can see this on bookshelves in libraries and schools.

Pages: 36 | ASIN : B09XRDP4FN

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Sofia Gama and the Templar’s Prophecy

From the country of Portugal comes a fresh new take on the genre of middle-grade fantasy. In the days of the Templars, heroes bravely sacrifice everything to seal away a deadly threat. But the forces of evil are not so easily extinguished. The insidious force remains, seeking to one day overthrow all that is good in the world.

Sofia Gama, a Portuguese schoolgirl in the modern day, soon learns that she is a part of this mysterious world of magic and mystery and will have her own part to play in saving the world from utter annihilation. However, when the truth of her story comes forward too quickly, Sofia must harness the strength within her spirit to do what is right and protect those she loves.

Translated from its original Portuguese, Sofia’s story is a fantasy adventure that thinks outside the box. A tale is woven over a thousand years of world events, the interplay of the fantastic and historical meld together perfectly. The historical information was, in most respects, correct. However, as this book was originally in another language, there are a few interestingly translated words throughout. Additionally, I was nearly a quarter of the way through the book before Sofia’s part of the story truly began.

Once the book takes off, it is a nonstop rollercoaster of an adventure. Sofia and her best friends Eduardo, Joana, and Filipe face dangerous magic, evil henchmen, and despicable bullies. The descriptions of the Portuguese coast and school life, something an American audience seldom gets to see, were the best moments of this story. Add that to the unique perspective of a magical world where there is no separation between the sacred and the secular, and you get an incredible adventure that’s as out of the box as it gets. From hardcore single dad Miguel to the spunky Joana, the characters in this narrative are as vibrant and memorable as the colors of the rainbow.

A tale of faith, family, and friendship, Sofia Gama and the Templar’s Prophecy by Isabel Ricardo is a thrilling young adult fantasy novel. This in-depth book is perfect for avid readers who crave something new and great for ages 12 and up due to fantasy violence, fatalities, and mild language. An original take on an established genre, Sofia’s story is packed full of surprises and suspense in a truly unforgettable story.

Pages: 417 | ISBN : 1949868605

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Johari The Great

Johari has an incredible imagination and absolutely loves to write. He has put his skills to use writing an amazing story for his school’s writing contest. His patience grows thin as he waits anxiously for the moment in his day when he can share his sure-fire winning story with his classmates. Johari is convinced the tale he has woven will catch the attention of his friends and classmates, not to mention the contest’s judges. When the moment comes, Johari takes the stage with all the confidence and support one young fifth grader could ever hope to have.

Johari the Great, by Naomi V. Dunsen-White, is the sweet story of one elementary student who has an incredibly supportive and loving family and is especially gifted when it comes to using his imagination to write creatively. Dunsen-White’s main character, Johari, is a great role model for young readers. He shows all the qualities of a self-motivated and self-confident young boy.

I was particularly impressed with the book’s focus on the writing contest. As a teacher, I loved seeing the excitement of not only the main character but the other students in the classroom. This is a wonderful way to encourage students to delve into writing for enjoyment and share with peers.

Johari the Great, is a phenomenal children’s book with a positive message. Included at the end of Johari’s story is a fantastic resource for parents and teachers, which makes this book even more valuable to readers. Dunsen-White’s precious story will make a great addition to any classroom or school library.

Pages: 40 | ASIN : B08PTL62CP

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Mangrove Sands, the Enchanted Seaworld and Beyond 

Mangrove Sands, The Enchanted Seaworld and Beyond, written by L. J. Nilsson, takes us on a magical adventure in Southeast Queensland, Australia. Following along as Tommy, Maria, Jake, and Wanjee receive tutoring from their Sea World friends during their school year and learn life lessons. Wanjee also teaches Tommy, Maria, and Jake about her aboriginal Muandik language, culture, symbolic art, bedtime stories, and more. The children enjoy learning about Wanjee’s culture, and she enjoys teaching them about her aboriginal roots. The school year goes by quickly, and the children start their transition to the next chapter in their lives.

Mangrove Sands, The Enchanted Seaworld, and Beyond is the sweetest book I have read in a long time! I love that it is inclusive of Wanjee’s character. Learning about her aboriginal tribe, the Muandik, was an absolute pleasure. Some of the words that were used in her language, such as didgeridoo, were words I had heard before. However, I did not know where they originated from. It was a wonderful surprise!

Maria’s character was so sweet. She seems to be very caring and eager to learn. Tommy seemed like he was clearheaded and thought problems through. He is mature for his age. Jake’s character seemed like quite a few boys I know. He was competitive but a good sportsman. He was also handy with tools and musically gifted. All of the Sea World friends sounded absolutely amazing! I really wish I had a friend named Parlow to talk to. Parlow is very wise.

Overall, I loved the book very much! I would recommend it to children and adults alike. In fact, more adults should read more books like this! Then they can learn to have more compassion and empathy for other living beings. The only part that confused me a little was when the children lay in bed and said their code of silence. They would then float onto Parlow’s back. I wondered if it was an out-of-body experience, but I wasn’t sure because of a couple of places in the book. One of them is when Jake gets hurt. That was the only part that confused me. I suppose it is a magical realm, so it may always remain a mystery.

I want to add that I loved the note L. J. Nilsson wrote at the very beginning. I think they nailed their intention and were very respectful. Also, I love that they included resources throughout the book for further research on the Muandik tribe.

Mangrove Sands, The Enchanted Seaworld and Beyond is a children’s fantasy novel that adults can enjoy and learn from as well. This heartfelt book teaches about friendship, empathy, and honor, among other things, and does so while taking readers on an exciting adventure they will not soon forget.

Pages: 108 | ASIN : B087N5QGDT

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Death at Dusbar College

Death at Dusbar College: A Story of Antyfas by Laura DiNovis Berry is set in the magical world of Antyfas, where 11-year-old Christiano visits Dusbar college with his aunt Laura. Anxious to solve the Grand Magician’s riddle, he sets out on an intriguing adventure. While on his way to solving this riddle, he runs into interesting situations, from talking frogs to floating hats and magicians. Will Christiano be the lucky one to solve the riddle? You’ll have to dive right in to find out.  

Author Laura DiNovis Berry has created a magical world with much thought, care, and precision that will captivate young readers’ minds. The author’s quirky imagination is expertly displayed on each page, making this magical realm come to life in the reader’s mind. Many parts in the book carry a theatrical appeal allowing the reader to clearly visualize the scenes and characters, almost like watching a movie. This book reminded me of Harry Potter but for younger readers and with a less complicated plot.  

The author has done a great job captivating the essence of young children down to how they speak and act. The author’s writing is easy to follow along, and she makes this a fun and engaging read with magic and adventure. The author has packed great detail in a short story and images to accompany the chapters. The reader will find themselves rooting for Christiano, who is determined to solve the riddle despite all odds. I truly enjoyed Christiano’s charisma and confidence.  

For parents and young readers looking for a fascinating read to take them on an enchanting adventure, this is the book for you. I highly recommend this whimsical read for middle schoolers fascinated by magic and mystery. You will have a great time exploring the world of Antyfas and the characters it contains.

Pages: 82 | ISBN : 1644564173

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