Professor Diggins’ Dragons

“For everyone, young or old,

who has ever had a crock of butter

to carry around a mountain…

and met a dragon.”*

Professor Diggins from the University is a little cracked, or so the board of Directors believe. Any respectable marine biology professor should keep fantasies out of the classroom, according to the Directors; so when Diggins begins to teach his devoted students about dragons and dragon-hunting and rumors start spreading, there’s only one course of action the University can take. They must retire Professor Diggins. That course of action is not popular with anyone, however; and especially not with the children who walk the Professor to his class every day. When the Directors insist on the Professor having at least a vacation to clear his head of these dragon fantasies; he takes a group of these children with him to the beach for a camping trip, where they will meet the Professor’s dragons for themselves.

I would highly recommend Professor Diggins’ Dragons by Felice Holman for ages 8+. This is a fun, lighthearted children’s book, with excellent themes and eccentric, memorable characters; well written and humorous. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

“ ‘Oh dear!’ said Lydia. ‘Is this the end?’

‘Indeed not!’ said Professor Diggins. ‘Just a stopping place.’ ”*

*Excerpts taken from Professor Diggins’ Dragons, written by Felice Holman and published in 1996 by The Macmillan Company

How to Train Your Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon: The Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup the Viking as told to Cressida Cowell is a fun, lighthearted children’s novel featuring disobedient garden dragons, extremely loud Vikings, and a fearsome breed called the Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus. This book was published first in Great Britain by Hodder Children’s Books and later in the U.S. by Little, Brown and Company; and would fall under the children’s fantasy genre.
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third is certain he will fail the Viking initiation tests. Not only does he have to catch a dragon; he must train it and present it to the tribe within only a few months. And training a dragon is extremely difficult to accomplish; for dragons are never grateful nor are they loyal. To make things worse; the island of Berk is attacked by not one; but TWO huge monsters. Will the Vikings be able to survive the attack of a Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus? Will the young Vikings be up to the tests of initiation? And will Hiccup ever be able to get his dragon to obey him?
I’d recommend this book for ages 12+. If you’ve seen the popular Dreamworks film How to Train Your Dragon, you might notice quite a few differences between the movie and the book; although there are the same lovable characters. There is some rude humor and mild violence to keep an eye out for in both the movie and the book. A humorous story with clever jokes and fun characters; this book gets 2.5 out of 5 stars.