Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dear Dragon Review and Blog Tour

Title: Dear Dragon
Author: Josh Funk   
Illustrator: Rodolfo Montalvo 
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: A sweet and clever friendship story in rhyme, about looking past physical differences to appreciate the person (or dragon) underneath.

George and Blaise are pen pals, and they write letters to each other about everything: their pets, birthdays, favorite sports, and science fair projects. There’s just one thing that the two friends don’t know: George is a human, while Blaise is a dragon! What will happen when these pen pals finally meet face-to-face? 
What I Think: Connecting with others through letter writing is such an awesome experience. I love the twist Josh incorporate into Dear Dragon. Can you imagine finding out your pen pal is a dragon?! This book is a great opportunity to discuss letter writing and to have students think about what they might share about their day with a friend. This is also a great opportunity to start a discussion about communication in general. We have so many ways to communicate now! Have students make a list of all the different ways and what makes each unique. Then think about which mode of communication might work better for some instances than others. To take this to another level, think about how information can be mistaken through written communicate. There are so many intricacies of language...but with social media now, with emojis and text speak and having to read between the lines. There are so many advantages and disadvantages to discuss when it comes to being as connected as we are (or can be) these days.
Book Trailer:

I'm so excited to have Josh Funk here today 

to give some advice to any reluctant writers out there! 

Josh Funk’s Advice for Reluctant Writers

For all of you reluctant writers out there, let’s unravel what ‘writing’ really is.

Writing is creating.

Every book starts with someone writing. But it’s not just books. Movies, television shows - they all start with someone writing the story. Even video games, many of the best ones have great stories, compelling characters, conflicts with villains, and so on.

“That doesn’t help me when I’m staring at a blank page, Josh,” you say. Well, you’re right. But what do stories, especially the best stories, do? They make you feel. They evoke emotions. Maybe they make you laugh or cry? Get excited or scared? Make you think or see the world differently? Or maybe they just entertain you for a little while.

Even the dictionary definition of ‘write’ means ‘to express or communicate’ (in writing). So how about this, my reluctant writer friend?

Make someone feel.

Pick an emotion. Any emotion. Whatever you’re feeling right now. Or whatever you want to feel. Or whatever you want someone else to feel.

Write something that will make your friends laugh.

Write something to gross people out.

Write about someone you love.

Write about something that excites you.

Write the saddest thing you can think of (without being mean, of course).

And if words aren’t for you, then draw a picture to make people feel. Or draw and write.

Or maybe write a letter. In Dear Dragon, both George and Blaise aren’t terribly excited about their assigned pen pal project … but they do it anyway. And (spoiler alert), it turns out that they become great friends!

Oh, and also, don’t worry about spelling. Real authors don’t worry about spelling. That’s what spell-check and editors are for.

About The Author: ​​Josh Funk is the author of Dear Dragon (Viking/Penguin) and other picture books. Josh is a board member of The Writers' Loft in Sherborn, MA and the co-coordinator of the 2016 and 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conferences. Josh grew up in New England and studied Computer Science in school. Today, he still lives in New England and when not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes picture book manuscripts. Josh is terrible at writing bios, so please help fill in the blanks. Josh enjoys _______ during ________ and has always loved __________. He has played ____________ since age __ and his biggest fear in life is being eaten by a __________. Find out more at and on twitter @joshfunkbooks.

A big thanks to Josh for sharing his thoughts on writing with us!

You can visit the other stops on the Dear Dragon blog tour!
LibLaura5 – September 5
Teach Mentor Texts - September 7
As They Grow Up – September 8
Emily’s Reading Room – September 9

Reederama – September 10

What do you want to write about today?

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