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The Dragon in the Library

Louie Stowell, illus. Davide Ortu
Nosy Crow
Age 7-8 years

It is the beginning of the holidays, and Kit and her friends are wondering what to do. Kit is not keen on the idea of going to the library, which sounds far too boring, and she hates reading anyway. Little does she know that her visit will lead to some amazing discoveries, firstly that she is a wizard, secondly that some books are magical portals and thirdly that a dragon lives below the library.

There follows an adventure story, with lots of fantasy including magical beasts and an evil villain and quite a bit of humour. Themes include teamwork as well as the power of books and the importance of libraries and librarians.  

Watch the first chapter read aloud by the author

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Talk about the story

What would you tell someone about this story?
What do you find out about Kit and her friends Josh and Alita? 
Talk about their different personalities and strengths, the ways they are different and how they help solve the problem together.
Share opinions of Hadrian Salt and his plans
What sort of magical powers would you like to have? Share ideas.

Things to make and do

Make a zig zag book about the characters
Introduce each of them with a picture, their name and  – what is distinctive about each of them

Write a wish list of spells
Think about the kind of basic spells you would like to do. Make a list explaining why you would do each one.

Dress up as a wizard
You could use a piece of fabric or old sheet and use a yellow felt pen to add stripes or shiny stars cut from kitchen foil for sparkles. Once your cloak is decorated it’s time to practise spell making

Make a chart
Make a chart of the 7 different kinds of magic – Elemental, Physical, Scrying, Illusion, Transformation, Wild and Mind

Make a pop-up book
Children could make their own imaginary portal book on a theme of their choice eg Choose a eg dragons or dinosaurs. They will need some A4 card or stiff paper for the cover and several pieces of folded paper for the pages inside. See here for more information.

Make a collage or painting of Draca the dragon sitting on her hoard of treasure

Get to know your local library
Visit your local library together and have a good look around spotting the different categories in the children’s section – and if you are allowed to perhaps the adult library too, although you are not likely to find a portal book you can looking for the fiction and nonfiction. Before you leave choose some books to borrow and if you are not a member this would be a good opportunity to sign up!

See our activity book here

Find out more

Find out about author Louie Stowell
Read more books about Kit and her friends:
The Monster on the Lake
The Wizard in the Wood

Find out more about wizards Wizard Facts for Kids | KidzSearch.com

Find out about dragons dragon – Kids | Britannica Kids | Homework Help

Find out about Baba Yaga and the house with chicken legs Baba Yaga | Verra Xenophontova Kalamatiano de Blumenthal (fairytalez.com)

Interested in stories about dragons? See our activity page for Dragon Mountain by Katie and Kevin Tsang