Fun illustrations and clever dialogue make this humorous fantasy tale about beating bullies irresistible.
Duluth the Dragon: A Big Red Bully by Devon Buffett is a whimsical tale of dragons and fairies, meshing fantasy and real life together through fun illustrations and clever dialogue.
The story follows a spunky girl named Lauren who is summoned to Dragon Land by Dragon Fairy. Fairy needs Lauren’s help to stop Duluth the Dragon from bullying and hurting all of the small animals. Lauren is assisted in this task by her German shepherd, Bolek. Bolek’s role in the book is playful and fun, and there is clearly a strong bond between Lauren and her dog.
Lauren, Bolek, and Fairy are fun characters. The cast is rounded out by Duluth, whose red scales and angry demeanor are flawlessly captured. The age-appropriate dialogue is expertly handled, and terms like “lickety-split” make the story feel animated and often funny. There is strong visual balance between full pages of text and full-page illustrations.
Duluth the Dragon also balances the real world and the fantasy world well. At one point, Lauren uses her remote control from home to mute the dragon’s voice, humorously integrating a human-world element into Dragon Land.
The end of the book hints at another installment in Dragon Land, this time featuring a new protagonist. The ending provides a satisfying resolution for Lauren, but could have featured more character development on Duluth’s part.
With Duluth the Dragon, Buffett expertly and humorously weaves a pleasing story for young readers.
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