Monday 24 October 2022

Phoebe the Moonlight Dragon

Phoebe the Moonlight Dragon (Dragon Girls Book 8) by Maddy Mara (Scholastic) Paperback RRP $12.99 ISBN 9781761 291753

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

Dragon Girls is a new series that celebrates everyday girls: it reveals each girl’s secret dragon power as they embark on adventures.

Maddy Mara is the pen name for Australian creatives, Hilary Rogers, and Meredith Badger. They’ve been collaborating on children’s books for nearly two decades. Hilary Rogers is an author and former publishing director. She’s created several series that have sold into the millions. Meredith Badger is an author of many books for both kids and adults. Dragon Girls is their first joint writing venture under the pen name Maddy Mara.

Phoebe the Moonlight Dragon takes us inside the heart of Phoebe as she finds courage and becomes the dragon leader in a secret mission: To save the Magic Forest from the evil Fire Sparks who steal the Dreamlets and threaten the delicate balance between night and day. Phoebe must overcome her fears and ignite her dragon powers.  United in friendship, Phoebe, Rosie, and Stella enter the magic forest when The Tree Queen, who rules the Magic Forest, calls upon them for help. Once there the girls transform into dragons and combine their own unique dragon powers to rescue the Dreamlets.

Maddy Mara knows their targeted readership: the simplicity of the text in this book is a perfect match. Each sentence adds layer upon layer to the storyline. The language is direct and there are no superfluous words. The three girls did everything together, including sleepover club on Friday nights. The story is told from Phoebe’s perspective and the shorter sentences keep the reader engaged and pace the story well. The dialogue is used sparingly and with much impact. ‘Hold on, Dreamlets,’ she called. ‘It’s time to fly.’ But what is most unique about this story is the imaginative world creation and its believability and how it immerses the reader. The Dreamlets, Cloudlike creatures, Sky Shimmers, and Dream Clouds are incredibly clever.  

Phoebe the Moonlight Dragon is a fantastical fantasy read for children aged 6 to 9 years. The larger font text is generously spaced and has illustrations which will support younger independent readers. There are more books in the series to keep a child hooked, which is appealing to parents, teachers, and librarians. This is a book that would make a great gift for any budding young reader.  

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