Publishers Weekly Review
Fans hooked on DiTerlizzi's (coauthor of the Spiderwick Chronicles) goblins and fairies may be disappointed initially that his newest novel has neither, but chances are they'll warm up to this old-fashioned tale that contains at least one dragon. Kenny, a clever rabbit, befriends a dragon who has settled on his family's property. Overcoming his fears, Kenny soon realizes that Grahame is not the stereotyped fire-breathing creature he reads about in books but a well-read, insightful dragon with a flair for the dramatic arts and poetry. But news of Grahame's presence leaks out to the townsfolk, and before long the king summons a retired knight named (what else?) George--he is also a friend of Kenny's--to battle Grahame to the death. DiTerlizzi's novel is light-hearted and his informal pencil sketches enhance the creative interpretation of what would otherwise be a simple animal story. Some readers might struggle with the mannered vocabulary, which encompasses words like drake and varlet, and Beowulf references will probably be lost on the intended audience. Regardless, readers will understand the author's message: make friends, not unfair judgments. Ages 8-12. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 3-6-Kenny's father brings home a fearsome description of an enormous creature: "...one of them flying things that eats pretty maidens and burns castles to the ground." Instead of being frightened, Kenny, a curious and well-read rabbit, wants to meet the beast. His father, not too bright in some ways but quite sensible in others, is sure Kenny can handle it, but Kenny's no-nonsense mother insists, "Dishes and homework first." What follows is a delightful riff on Kenneth Grahame's classic The Reluctant Dragon, starring a dragon named Grahame that can delicately torch creme br lee with the flames from his left nostril and has no interest in killing anyone. Before long, rumors and fear create a mob mentality among the local townspeople, and Kenny has to come up with a plan to prevent the retired dragon slayer (George, of course) from killing Grahame. This is a fun story with substance. At one point, Kenny wonders, "How can they want someone killed they don't even know?... How can George just blindly do whatever the king says?" The civilizing influence of literature is another theme that has relevance for today's readers. Lively pencil sketches add to the charm. The author's reputation will enhance the popularity of this solid fantasy.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Kenneth Grahame's classic tale  The Reluctant Dragon gets an update in this quaint, comfortable novella. A young rabbit meets an incidentally fearsome dragon and comes to his rescue when the townspeople of Roundbrook engage the local bookseller to slay him. The plot follows that of Grahame's original closely, embellishing on the homage with pointed allusions (the rabbit is called Kenny, short for Kenneth, and the Dragon is named Grahame, for example). The spot pencil illustrations deftly express the characters' natures and feelings with energy and whimsy. DiTerlizzi's popularity, built on his contributions to the Spiderwick Chronicles, may draw children to this enjoyable outing. And this engaging story, in turn, may carry them up the bucolic hillside to the original, inspirational works of Mr. Grahame himself.--Barthelmess, Thom Copyright 2008 Booklist