Naughty Dragons: A New Series of Junior Novels

Anyone who has ever read my Lily Quench books knows that I have a thing for dragons, right down to having a dragon gargoyle on my roof. So it’s not too surprising that I should return to the subject for my new junior fiction series, Naughty Dragons, out this month from Hardie Grant Egmont.

Dragons on transparency 3

  Unlike the fantasy world of Lily Quench, these new books are set well and truly in the present. What happens to an ordinary family when two incredibly naughty dragons come to stay as part of a dragon rearing and education project? The title of the first book gives a hint: Dragon Mayhem! Graun and Fafnine, the naughty dragons are uncontrollable, unpredictable and very, very funny. From the moment they arrive at the Wards’ house, Ava and Jack are both completely devoted to them, and pitched headfirst into a roller-coaster of disasters.

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  The books have been illustrated by Simon Howe, who has previously worked with my friend, Sophie Masson on the picture book On My Way. Like Janine Dawson, who illustrated Lily Quench, Simon has a background in animation, and he has done some amazing work on these books, with black and white illustrations, full of life and humour, on every single page. (He really worked incredibly hard; I am so grateful to him for realising my characters so beautifully.) The illustration to the right is one of my favourites, from a scene where the naughty dragons go to the movies to see a 3D film called Mutant Dino. They find it quite inspirational (apart from the boring human kissing bits), and they also enjoy the smoked popcorn and volcano balls you see them eating in the illustration.

NaughtyDragons Book2 CVR (RGB)

  Dragon Mayhem! is already finding readers in the 6+ age group, and Simon and I were thrilled to get our first fan letter only days after the book came out, wanting to know if there would be more. The answer to that is yes—here is the cover of Book 2, Naughty Dragons Try School!, which will be out early next year. In their next adventure, the naughty dragons accompany Jack and Ava to the local primary school where they make friends, start learning to read dragon script on stone tablets, and tangle with some other dragons who are not quite so nice. They also make some interesting discoveries in the dragon toilets. I’m just finishing writing Book 3, so keep an eye on this blog for news about more of Graun and Fafnine’s adventures in the near future.

  Finally, I’d like to give a huge thank you to the wonderful May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust, which generously granted me a Creative Time Fellowship in early 2018. This series started life as a story I wrote during the month I spent in Canberra, and has grown into something unexpectedly large and exciting. Please take the time to find out more about the May Gibbs Foundation here.

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