Monday, July 23, 2018

Dragons in a Bag #1 by Zetta Elliott

Dragons in a Bag (Dragons in a Bag #1)My name is Jax, and Ma received a bouncing package from Madagascar. Ma's not really related to me, and she happens to be a witch. I know Madagascar has many strange animals, but I was not expecting the package to contain three baby dragons! Ma says we need to take them to another dimension, because Brooklyn doesn't have enough magic anymore. Ma and I didn't get along right off the bat, but I think I may want to become her apprentice. Unfortunately, the transporter went wonky, and we ended up in another time, in a world full of toothy dinosaurs. The last thing I heard was a growl in the bushes and then Ma sent me back home. Now, Trouble says he can help me find Ma again, but something’s wrong with one of the dragons.

The target audience for this book is upper elementary, and that seems about right. The story moved quickly and wasn't overly complicated. Jax was leery about staying with a strange lady, and Ma made it clear she didn't want him around. The early parts of the plot were fairly realistic, except when Jax let an intelligent squirrel into the kitchen. Because of the book's title, it was obvious the mysterious package contained dragons, but they were used as props and didn't have an active role in the events. Ma's feelings toward the dragons weren't as clear, as she didn't attempt to hide the package from Jax but didn't share any information about it either. The possibility of the dragons' imprinting with humans most concerned her. Imprinting is when the baby animal connects and identifies with the first animal caring for it. The plot took a big turn once Ma caught up with Jax after he ran away. Even so, the revelation that Ma was a witch and the package contained dragons didn't cause any discomfort or stress for Jax. They quickly planned to travel to another dimension, and the action kicked up. The conclusion seemed too sudden, and it bugged me that things weren't resolved. Luckily, I sequel will be coming. Overall, it was a cute story and should appeal to many eight to twelve-year-old readers. 

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