Dragon Girl: The Secret Valley

Jeff Weigel. Andrews McMeel, $9.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-4494-4183-8
Weigel, who has tackled superheroes (Atomic Ace [He’s Just My Dad]), the high seas (Thunder from the Sea), and monsters (The Monster Alphabet) in previous books, sets his sights on dragons for this genre adventure, employing detailed b&w inkwork and throwback storytelling to create a lively yarn whose only fault is that it’s over too soon. Even for an animal lover like Alanna, adopting a litter of baby dragons probably isn’t a good idea, especially when everyone else in the world would sooner see them extinct. But Alanna, an orphan herself, bucks the protests of her older brother, Hamel, and decides to play mother to the newborn dragons, even fashioning a homemade dragon costume from his blacksmith equipment (“This fireproof cloth we use for Hamel’s aprons will be perfect,” Alanna thinks to herself). Not surprisingly, the situation quickly escalates, and soon Alanna, Hamel, and dragon hunter Sir Cedric end up in a cloistered dragon sanctuary, each with their own conflicting ambitions. Alanna’s ingenuity, daring, warmth, and sense of humor make the prospect of future adventures a welcome one. Ages 7–12. Agent: Steven Chudney, the Chudney Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 06/03/2014
Genre: Children's
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