3 out of 4 stars
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I love fantasy settings in stories. If I could set up my house however I wanted, there would be video game stuff everywhere, and a good portion of that would feature epic dragons, knights and swords. So when I saw a children's book that was all about dragons, I was instantly sold on it. Anything that would help share my love of dragons with the world, especially with children when they're still discovering different types of stories, is right up my alley!
The Adventure of Odd Body by Patti Hall starts in a place called Dragonopolis, a world where humans don't exist and dragons run rampant. These dragons are quite human, though; they go to school, they have friends and families, and they have to do things like work out to keep strong.
Every seven years, Dragonopolis goes far away from the sun. So far, in fact, that every dragon on the planet would freeze to death. Luckily, there's another planet that the dragons can fly to - Dragonilius - where they take a full year of vacation before Dragonopolis returns. The story begins when Odd Body is nearing the first time he'll fly to Dragonilius, but once he actually goes something terrible happens and he's separated from everyone else, finding himself suddenly near Earth!
The Adventure of Odd Body is a children's book, and while there are illustrations, the majority of the book is text. In fact, out of 22 total pages, only 6 pages have illustrations. The illustrations in the book are gorgeous, full-page, vivid illustrations, and the rest of the pages have a crisp border around the writing.
I really enjoyed the way the book was written. Patti's writing flows in a way that's perfect for reading aloud to young children, and the first sentence is a perfect example: "This adventure begins on a planet named Dragonopolis, isn't that a funny name?" The entire book is written this way, with Patti emphasizing particular things right in the story itself as if she's talking directly to the reader. It's a very light-hearted book, and the author repeatedly drives home lessons such as being polite, not picking on someone's name, and so on.
The book also has a solid injection of magic alongside the dragons. Odd Body is given his name because he's a very special dragon - every 2,000 years a dragon is born wearing a hat with a flower in it, and whenever the dragon gives someone that flower, all of their good wishes come true forever. Odd Body is that dragon, although the bearer of the magical wish flowers is unable to use them to make wishes of their own, so he can't merely wish himself out of trouble.
There was only a single error in the book - a use of "student's" instead of "students". While I loved the art and enjoyed the story, the ending was a real punch in the gut. It dead-ends far before an actual ending is reached out of nowhere. Worse yet, this book originally released February 2016, and three years later there still isn't a second part of the book. This is really a shame because I almost definitely would've given the book 4 stars otherwise. Because of the ending alone, I'd give it 2.5 stars instead if I could. Since that isn't possible, I'm rounding up and giving the book 3 out of 4 stars. I really did enjoy what I read, and the book is well polished. It reminds me of what would happen if a child wrote a whimsical story, then had it professionally edited and touched up. I'd recommend it to parents who love dragons and want to get their kids interested in them, or to people who love whimsical stories. Just keep in mind that the book's ending is nonexistent, and you'll need some terrific creativity to finish it up yourself!
The Adventure of Odd Body
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