A purpose-built ship—“the mightiest vessel most people will never see”—sets out to study the world’s dragons…and track down the rarest of all.
Led by putative author Curatoria Draconis, depicted with brown skin and locs, the multiracial crew of the Dragon Ark sails to locales both remote and surprisingly otherwise on each continent. As they go, they pause to fill in fellow dracophiles on basic facts about a dizzying variety of dragons, from the wurm and the deep-sea taniwha of Oceania to amphipteres perching in a presidential eye on Mount Rushmore and drakes lurking in an unused New York subway tunnel. Dense notes accompanying Tomic’s elaborately detailed illustrations not only record observations about each intelligent, reclusive creature’s preferred habitat, diet, size, and suchlike, but sound warnings about worrisome environmental threats ranging from floating plastic waste to the effects of global warming on Antarctica’s meltable ice dragons. A series of obscure clues gathered along the way leads at last to an encounter with a pair of long-sought tien loong, or celestial dragons of China. Stunningly intricate art features an opening portrait gallery of the crew, an immersive cutaway view of the ship, and album-style spreads that offer finely drawn images aplenty of scaled, toothy dragons large and small, some heavy of body, others elegantly sinuous, in natural (or at least characteristic) settings. (The copyright page credits Emma Roberts with the text.) (This book was reviewed digitally with 15-by-21.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 75% of actual size.)
A stimulating voyage for hatchling dragonologists.
(Informational fantasy picture book. 7-10)
Pub Date: today
Page Count: 80
Publisher: Magic Cat
Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020