I first heard of this book on Laini Taylor's blog. Apparently her toddler loves it. Next, I saw it on the library shelf, and it really jumps out, rather. So I picked it up, and then I remembered having seen it on her blog before.
I read it on the spot—standing there in the library. It's not long at all. I sort of snorted and thought it was silly. I didn't check it out, since I already had my two items (it's kind of a horrible tragedy that I'm only permitted to check out two items at one of the libraries in our community, but that is another story).
As time went on, Dragon Puncher popped back into my thoughts, and I eventually decided to check the book out so I could read it to Benjamin. Re-reading it, I just got more and more impressed.
I started to notice details the second, third, and following times I read it. The backgrounds are flawless! The expressions on the photo faces just crack me up*! Despite being silly, this book wasn't thrown together, it was crafted. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, too, because it is so obviously a labor of love for the author's son. It is a little bit of family history preserved for years to come. A book they can read together and remember the imaginary game they used to play.
The end-papers at the back of the book invite those who enjoyed Dragon Puncher to write Kochalka a letter. Benjamin took that invitation with my help. He dictated to me, and I helped keep him on the subject at hand. We included a return address, and one evening after Benjamin was asleep I checked the mail. We got a letter back! Super exciting! Both Jacob and I wanted to open it, but we waited until Benjamin woke up the next morning.
|He is enchanted.|
|Here is the (handwritten) letter—it came with some fun swag!|
I heartily recommend writing a letter to James Kochalka.
The Graphic Novel Book Club that I attend discussed some pretty heavy books in April, and the call came for something completely happy and fun for May. So I suggested Dragon Puncher and we universally agreed that it was indeed happy and fun! We also read Squish by Matt and Jenny Holm (Which is more substantive, but less colorful. Peggy is my favorite!) and Giants Beware by Jorge Aguirre (which I didn't actually get to yet).
If you read Dragon Puncher, let me know how you like it! We'll definitely be checking out the sequel, Dragon Puncher Island.
*At first I was like, "What's up that they don't have mouths?" but then I was like, "It just makes the dragon teeth that much more impressive."