cover image Thomas and the Dragon Queen

Thomas and the Dragon Queen

Shutta Crum, illus. by Lee Wildish, Knopf, $15.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-375-85703-4

Small in stature yet stout of heart, Thomas leaves his large, loving family to be a page in the King's Company. When his peers at the castle mock him for his size and lack of abilities, the 12-year-old becomes more determined than ever to prove his mettle and earn his knighthood. After two years of training, the king knights Thomas and sends him on a perilous quest to rescue his daughter, who has been abducted by an allegedly fearsome dragon queen. Crum's (Thunder-Boomer!) adventure kicks into high gear as Thomas sets off for the dragon's remote island. En route the earnest boy overcomes his self-doubt about his skills and bravery to slay a vicious sea monster. The tale's tone lightens appreciably when Thomas reaches the dragon queen's island, where the kidnapped princess has been put to work as nursemaid to the unexpectedly benign beast's brood of endearing "dragonlets." Wildish's (Jacob O'Reilly Wants a Pet) high-spirited b&w cartoons enhance the ample action and humor of this taut fantasy, which culminates in Thomas's triumphant homecoming. Ages 7–10. (July)