cover image The Dragon in the Sock Drawer

The Dragon in the Sock Drawer

Kate Klimo, . . Random, $14.99 (159pp) ISBN 978-0-375-85587-0

At the start of this workmanlike series opener, fantasy-loving 10-year-old cousins Jesse and Daisy are convinced that “sooner or later they [will] have a magical adventure of their own.” When Jesse finds a geode, aka a “thunder egg,” both can hear it talking; in short enough order, it hatches into a dragon. As its chosen Dragon Keepers, the cousins must protect little “Emmy” (for Emerald) from an evil Dragon Slayer, who, by day, is a herpetologist at the local college. Klimo, v-p and publisher of Random House/ Golden Books Young Readers Group, leaves a lot unexplained, including why the Dragon Slayer wants to drink Emmy's blood and why doing so “could spell doom, not only for Emerald, but for the world,” as a 19th-century dragonologist tells them via a Harry Potter–esque use of the Internet. And while Jesse and Daisy are likable enough, their quest is not as noble nor as exciting as readers of this genre can reasonably expect; the ending—the dragon disguises herself as a sheepdog which the cousins keep as a pet—falls flat. Ages 8–12. (July)