Author: Bruce Coville
Illustrator: Gary A. Lippincott
All Jeremy was trying to do was escape from the school bullies and the threatened kiss of Mary Lou Hutton (horrors!). But some things are simply meant to be, as Jeremy discovers. While running madly through backyards and side streets, he becomes lost–in the small town where he’s lived his whole life–and finds himself at a shop he’s never seen before: Elives’ Magic Supplies. Even stranger, while browsing through this most unusual shop, Jeremy discovers an orb covered with beautifully swirling colors–which he is then told has chosen him. Purchasing said orb for a quarter, Jeremy brings his discovery home–only to find that what he has purchased is actually a dragon’s egg. This is one purchase that will change his life in more ways than he can imagine.
I love Coville’s writing, and his Magic Shop books in particular! Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher is a fantastic (in more ways than one) story melding elementary school slice-of-life and dragon-lore-saturated fantasy into a delightful package. The writing is subtle, but quick and easy to read–suitable for a late-elementary or middle-school audience, but fulfilling for much older readers as well. The art is lovely and lifelike too; just the sort of work I can imagine Jeremy turning out himself. Jeremy is just the sort of person who ought to raise a dragon: artistic, honest, the son of a veterinarian (and thus exposed to all sorts of animals already), and the sort of person who reads stories like C. S. Lewis and Natalie Babbitt. Actually, he’s the kind of person I’d like to meet in person. And Elives’ shop–forgive the comparison, but it reminds me greatly of Yuuko Ichihara’s shop (and I can just imagine what she’s say about Jeremy’s arrival; absolutely hitsuzen, for sure!). Seriously though, for anyone who loves fantasies, and especially dragon stories, Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher is definitely recommended–great story!