The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart

 
5.0
 
4.0 (1)
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The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart
Age Range
8+
Release Date
May 30, 2017
ISBN
978-1681193434
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Aventurine is a brave young dragon ready to explore the world outside of her family's mountain cave . . . if only they'd let her leave it. Her family thinks she's too young to fly on her own, but she's determined to prove them wrong by capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human.

But when that human tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, she's transformed into a puny human without any sharp teeth, fire breath, or claws. Still, she's the fiercest creature in these mountains--and now she's found her true passion: chocolate. All she has to do is get to the human city to find herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she'll be conquering new territory in no time . . . won't she?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Warm up the Hot Chocolate!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Aventurine is a young dragon who is bored with being in the family cave and doesn't want to study the way her brother Jasper does. To prove that she can take care of herself, she ventures out and meets a good prospect for dinner... until her dinner turns out to be a food mage who offers her a cup of delicious smelling hot cocoa that turns her into a human girl! Confused and irritated, she heads off down the mountain to the town of Drachenberg with a kindly couple who advise her. They also want her to become an unpaid servant, so she runs away. She is enthralled with the whole concept of chocolate, so seeks an apprenticeship with the two biggest chocolate houses in town. They laugh and kick her out, but she happens upon a third, lesser known house with the help of Silke, who makes everyone's business her own. She comes at a fortuitous moment. Marina and Horst need an apprentice, but Marina is famously hard on them because they don't feel as passionately about chocolate as she does. Aventurine does. Business isn't good, but with Silke's help, The Chocolate Heart manages to get more customers, only to have them scared off when the king and his daughters visit at the same time that the town council carries out a disastrous inspection. That's just the beginning of the problems. Dragons are seen flying near the town, and the battle mages are convinced they need to kill the dragons with poison. Can Aventurine save the town from the dragons, the dragons from the town, and The Chocolate Heart and Marina from leaving Drachenburg?
Good Points
It's easy to forget that Aventurine is a dragon, until she decides to kick the town council's adviser or roars her displeasure in a way quite unbecoming to a young girl. She feels passionately about chocolate and has trouble understanding the concept of friendship, but her reckless pursuit of what she loves most is charming. Together with Silke's busybody ways and Marina's blustery dedication to her art work Aventurine's dedication creates a supportive world where even dragons can't stand in the way of her success.

The traditional old world setting is given a fresh feel by the addition of chocolate. The descriptions of both the chilly Germanic town and the delicious chocolate creations are wonderfully vivid.

It's hard to create a fantasy that feels fresh, but The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart does a great job of introducing amusing new characters and setting them against a backdrop filled with adventure and chocolate! I enjoyed this book tremendously.
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Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
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The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart
(Updated: June 24, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
A beautiful story about following your dream!
Good Points
Aventurine the dragon is determined to prove that she is ready to leave her family's mountain cave. To do this, she sneaks out and captures a human. The human fools her into drinking magical hot chocolate that transforms her into a human girl! Although she struggles to make her way as a human, she is determined to follow her newfound passion for chocolate. Aventurine travels to the city of Drachenburg to get an apprenticeship at a chocolate house. She is turned away by two chocolate houses, but a bold girl named Silke helps her find her way to The Chocolate Heart - a chocolate shop in desperate need of an apprentice. Aventurine is hired on the spot. The mayor, angry with Aventurine's employers, tries to shut the chocolate shop down. Aventurine and Silke fight back, but their attempts are futile. The situation worsens when dragons are spotted flying overhead. The king is intent on killing them, but Aventurine realizes they are her family who have come searching for her. Aventurine has to confront her fears, stop an approaching war and do what it takes to follow her passion.

Aventurine was a strong and relatable character. She didn't feel understood by her family, who scorned her wish to explore the world. After she became a human, her love for chocolate kept her going even though she was rattled. Although she faced internal conflicts, her determination to follow her passion was inspiring. It taught a great lesson about never giving up. Aventurine didn't lose her spunk when she became a human, and her dragon-like confidence showed up in her personality. She never lost sight of herself as someone who could achieve everything she wanted to. If a human got in her way, she knocked them down (literally). Her fierce and courageous attitude made her all the more likable as she learned the true meaning of friendship.

Aventurine's narration was humorous and insightful. It was a fun way to see bustling city life. She compared her surroundings with what she was familiar with as a dragon, her remarks witty and ironic. Lucid descriptions increased the vividness of the setting and gave the story a fresh, unique feel. I enjoyed learning about how chocolate was made, and Aventurine thoroughly explained the process without making me feel as if I were enduring a lecture.

There was a great cast of characters. Each one was flawed, but I could identify with their personalities and understand their behavior. Marina was one of my favorite supporting characters. Her curt and dismissive attitude hid a woman devoted to her craft. I admired how she didn't let other people's opinions affect her.

I loved the mood of the story. Chocolate always triggers a fun memory of hot chocolate during a frigid winter's day, or snacking on candy after Halloween. I could relate to the joy Aventurine felt whenever she was around chocolate. I associate dragons with pride and staunchness, which reflects Aventurine's character. The sweetness of chocolate and fieriness of dragons blended together to make a thrilling book.

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart has a lovely cover, beautiful illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, and a length readers will not be daunted by. It has great messages about following your dreams and the power of friendship. It is a touching story perfect for any library. Chocolate, dragons, and a strong protagonist will make this an appealing book for anyone. I highly recommend it.
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