Darien and the Lost Paints of Telinoria

Jeanna Kunce, illus. by Craig Kunce. Windhill (windhillbooks.com), $16 (192p) ISBN 978-0-9844828-6-3
After 10-year-old Darien’s babysitter cancels, her parents have a neighbor, Miss Mildred (“old Miss Mildew” to Darien), watch her for the afternoon. What could have been a dreary day stuck indoors transforms into an adventure when Miss Mildred gives Darien a mysterious set of paints; as Darien begins creating a forest landscape, she enters the painting and an enchanted world populated by talking dragons. After winning the trust of a dragon named Amani (dragons are suspicious of humans, who capture them to melt their scales into gold, Amani tells Darien), she accompanies him on a perilous mission to rescue his parents and to help end a rift between dragons that have mated across color lines and those still clinging to ancient tradition. First-time author Jeanna Kunce creates a thoughtfully developed universe with medieval and fantastical elements (the walls of an underground city are lit by tubes filled with luminescent fish). Craig Kunce’s delicately etched b&w illustrations help add to the magic of a fantasy starring a heroine empowered to do the right thing. Ages 8–up. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 08/31/2015
Release date: 11/01/2014
Genre: Children's
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