A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans

A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
March 10, 2015
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Fans of How to Train Your Dragon will love this whimsical tale, the first in a series, by a Newbery Honor winner, featuring charming illustrations and pet "training tips" in each chapter. Crusty dragon Miss Drake has a new pet human, precocious Winnie. Oddly enough, Winnie seems to think Miss Drake is her pet—a ridiculous notion! Unknown to most of its inhabitants, the City by the Bay is home to many mysterious and fantastic creatures, hidden beneath the parks, among the clouds, and even in plain sight. And Winnie wants to draw every new creature she encounters: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But Winnie’s sketchbook is not what it seems. Somehow, her sketchlings have been set loose on the city streets! It will take Winnie and Miss Drake’s combined efforts to put an end to the mayhem . . . before it’s too late.

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1 review
Dragons live in San Francisco
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
When Winnie's great aunt Amelia passes away, she leaves the family mansion in San Francisco to Winnie and her mother, a horse trainer who has been badly injured. Amelia had been corresponding with Winnie, and has told her the biggest secret of all-- the mansion comes complete with Miss Drake, a dragon! Miss Drake is sad about the demise of her pet (whom she called Fluffy), and is a bit annoyed that Winnie has found her. Winnie is insistent, however, so Miss Drake takes her shopping to a magical store. There, the two purchase a sketch book, which has the power to make whatever is drawn in it real. They don't know this at first, however, and Winnie completes 20 drawings of magical creatures that come to life and flee the book, endangering the delicate balance of magic that Miss Drake has tried so hard to keep. Most of the creatures are easy to catch, but the pemburu is unwilling to be caught, and is growing and growing, feeding on the magic of others. While working together against this common threat, Miss Drake and Winnie learn a lot about the other, and Miss Drake begins to understand why Amelia left Winnie in on their secret.

Even though Winnie's situation is somewhat sad (her father passed away when she was young, her grandparents disapproved of her mother, and things were not easy), things are improving, and the discovery of Miss Drake doesn't faze Winnie at all. The two have an uneasy relationship at first, with Winnie thinking that Miss Drake is the pet, but they both come to see that the other has skills and powers that are valuable.

This reads much like classic children's fantasies such as No Flying in the House or the Ruth Chew books, and the reader is sent right into a magical world without apology... and the world makes sense because we want so much to believe it is true. Flying on a dragon to a magical shop over San Francisco? Absolutely. A magic sketchbook that brings drawings to life? Hand it over. A tiara with a tiny dent where the pteranodon bit it? I will fight all of the pemburus you want me to as long as I can have a dragon like Miss Drake living in MY basement!

An excellent choice for a first fantasy book, A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans was a heartfelt magical romp with lots of adventure as well as some deeply poignant moments.
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