Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Review and a Giveaway, Too-WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN

When A Dragon Moves in, written by Jodi Moore and illustrated by Howard McWilliam, is the perfect bedtime story for those dragonfire-warm summer nights.

The Details:
Recommended ages: 3-7
Word count: 397
Average words per two page spread: 25
Extra value: Encourages use of imagination, great for identifying details

WHEN A DRAGON MOVES INto your world, be prepared for a day packed with adventure. This is quite evident when a dragon moves into a little boy’s sandcastle during a family excursion to the beach.
When the child’s family is too busy to play with him, the boy creates his own version of companionship—a marshmallow toasting, raft floating, sandwich gobbling dragon.
They have fun.
They explore.
They get into innocent mischief.
~All the things that dragons and little boys are meant to do.
This wonderful summer-themed story will most definitely edge its way into fall, winter, and spring story time requests. The pacing of the story is bouncy quick. The meaning behind the story, however, is everlasting.
While the target audience of the book is children ages 3 through 7, the lesson learned from the story will apply to the grownups that read the story to their little ones—Take time to travel through the world of imagination with the children in your life. Who knows—even you might find a dragon at your doorstep.
The activity I have created to go with this book falls right into the above-stated category. So, climb into your imagination and explore the possibilities of a dragon moving into your home.
On the hunt for dragon treasure

This activity is loosely structured. Have fun with it. Modify it. Let your little ones guide the direction each step takes. Not only will both of you have fun, but your little ones will also practice critical thinking skills.
Book: WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN (Jodi Moore, Howard McWilliam)
Footprints (painted footprints for family members, printed dragon footprints)*
Shark's teeth or seashells
Jewels (rainbow colored cereal used, but many other options)
Various beach gear inside a beach bag

1. The night before the main activity, read the story as a bedtime tale. Discuss what dragons like and how real they are.
2. The next morning set the stage for the dragon discovery. Place footprints in various places throughout the house. Place a beach bag where your little one will see it first thing in the morning.

3. When your child finds the prints in the kitchen, discuss why the dragon was there. For example, dragons get hungry. Was he looking inside the pantry for some food? Or—did he want to toast some marshmallows?

4. When your child finds the prints that lead to the back yard, explore the reason he went there. Did he leave any of his dragon teeth and scales in the sandbox?
5. As your child finds more prints, have him talk about whose prints they are and why they are there. For example, Mom’s prints in front of the closet may mean she might have been putting clothing away earlier in the day.*

6. Talk about where dragons like to sleep—cozy caves where they can protect their treasure. Continue the dragon hunt until the treasure is found.

*A few days prior to the activity, have some painting fun by making paint footprints of the members of your family. Allow each member to paint their prints with their favorite colors. These can be used for a variety of activities—color recognition, size sorting, counting, etc.

This book is available on

*This giveaway will include a free copy of When a Dragon Moves In (Jodi Moore and Howard McWilliam), as well as a surprise. The registration will last from the posting of this blog post until midnight, July 27, 2013. One winner will be randomly selected from all entries. The book will be shipped from Amazon within approximately 2 weeks following the close of the giveaway. The giveaway is open to residents of the United States with a United State’s mailing address. The winner’s name will be posted on the blog, unless the winner chooses not to have his/her name posted.

GIVEAWAY UPDATE: The second book giveaway is now complete.

Congratulations to Katie B. and to Pam!



  1. Sounds like a cute story! My kids are 10 and 12 but they still love it when I read a picture book to them at bedtime.