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The Boy Who Lived with Dragons

"Readers with high-maintenance pets (or, for that matter, brand-new siblings) will wince in sympathy even as they laugh at the gross bits".--Booklist

"This follow-up to The Boy Who Grew Dragons(2020) is an accessible jumping-in point for new readers, providing enough worldbuilding (and well-timed potty humor) to be inviting.Ogilvie's black-and-white illustrations are absolutely adorable and, coupled with the clever marginalia (such as pages that appear singed), make for heightened visual interest."--Kirkus Reviews

Tomas has a secret-a big secret. He has his own tiny dragon, Flicker! A dragon which grew on a very special tree at the bottom of his grandad's garden. And not only that-his friends Ted, Kai, and Kat have dragons too, all grown on the same dragon fruit tree!

Having your own dragon is magical, but Tomas is also about to find out what living with a dragon is REALLY like. When the fire-breathing kicks in and you get singed every five seconds, it's like having an unpredictable volcano in your pocket. Learning to train the dragons and keep them out of trouble at school and home will take all Tomas's creativity and patience. But there's a problem Tomas didn't see coming. The dragon fruit tree is starting to look droopy and unwell. Tomas and his friends have got to do all they can restore it to health and uncover its deepest mysteries, as well as trying to work out what big secret local bully Liam, "King of Trouble," has got up his sleeve. One thing is for sure-life is never dull when you have a dragon in your pocket.

Andy Shepherd is a children's writer working on middle-grade fiction. She lives near Cambridge with her husband, two sons and their border collie.

From first line ("'My underpants!' Ted cried as I opened the door. 'Grab them!'") onward, this sequel to The Boy Who Grew Dragons (2020) takes the low road, humorwise, as Tomas and his three friends struggle to keep their pocket-size hatchling dragons secret from both the grown-ups and from sneering bully Liam Sawston. The fact that the mini dragons variously breathe fire or frost, have bottomless appetites, and (speaking of bottoms) emit both staggering farts and exploding poop complicates the effort, as does the horrifying discovery that Liam has a secret dragon of his own. Adding to Tomas' stress, the dragon tree in his grandad's yard seems to be dying. Could the surly, competitive gardener next door be poisoning it? As before, Ogilvie adds stains and singed areas to the page margins to go with frequent scenes of young folk viewing the antics of their diminutive reptilian pets with delight or dismay. Readers with high-maintenance pets (or, for that matter, brand-new siblings) will wince in sympathy even as they laugh at the gross bits.

– Booklist

Growing dragons cause mischief to flourish. Young Tomas guards an important secret: a dragon fruit tree in his Grandad's garden sprouts fruit that hatches into actual, living dragons. Tomas' dragon, Flicker, is his small, constant companion and can change into a dazzling rainbow of colors. His best friends-Ted, Kat, and Kai-also have dragons that possess their own special abilities, like breathing ice. While the kids try to keep their wily winged pets concealed, the dragons cause silly mayhem. But soon, as more strange events occur, the group begins to wonder: Could their nemesis, Liam, also have a dragon? Once Liam's ulterior motives are uncovered, Tomas and his friends must stop him before his ego threatens the safety of their own dragons. Shepherd's feel-good friendship tale has an endearingly nostalgic feel as the gang adventures, hangs out, and cracks jokes with nary an electronic doodad in sight. The outdoors factors in prominently, with gentle warnings about the harm done by pesticides. This follow-up to The Boy Who Grew Dragons(2020) is an accessible jumping-in point for new readers, providing enough worldbuilding (and well-timed potty humor) to be inviting. Ogilvie's black-and-white illustrations are absolutely adorable and, coupled with the clever marginalia (such as pages that appear singed), make for heightened visual interest. Most characters read as White; Ted has darker skin and curly black hair. Silly and sweet, with a throwback feel. (Fantasy. 8-12)

– Kirkus Reviews

More books from this author: Andy Shepherd