Authors: Laurence Yep & Joanne Ryder
Illustrator: Mary GrandPré
My rating: 4.5 of 5
Miss Drake (who is of course a dragon of the highest breeding) has just lost her favorite pet Fluffy–a human who insisted on calling herself Amelia. And while Miss Drake had intended to give herself some time to mourn before choosing a new pet, fate (with some help from Amelia) has other things in mind in the form of Amelia’s incorrigible 10-year-old great-niece, Winnie. Now Winnie is convinced that Miss Drake is her responsibility, and she’s not about to leave the dragon alone, no matter how she’s ignored or threatened. It looks like Miss Drake has a new pet after all, one that’s sure to make life . . . interesting.
What a fun story! A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans was a delight from start to finish. The story is told in first person from old Miss Drake’s perspective–so you get an ornery-yet-genteel flavor to the story as a whole. And her reactions to Winnie–who is energetic, precocious, and bright–are most amusing. This is a very unusual children’s fantasy, highly character-driven with a mostly slice-of-life plot flavored heavily by, oh, the presence of a dragon and her dealings with other fantastic beings. The feel of the book actually reminds me of Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest books somewhat (especially the first one). In any case, I’d definitely recommend A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans, especially for elementary-age girls, but truly for everyone (my dad loved it)–it’s fantastically cute and funny!