Exciting news everyone!
It’s my stop on the blog tour for the final book in The Boy Who Grew Dragons series by Andy Shepherd. This is a brilliant series and I am SO SO SAD it is over… but I am so glad that I read these books. They are just so so lush!
“Tomas is a fully-fledged expert dragon grower and protector of the dragon-fruit tree. He has eyes in the back of his head for watching over those sneaky dragons, awesomely fast reflexes for putting out sparks and dodging the diving antics of whirling newly hatched dragons. He’s got it all down pat – and managing his little lightning bolt dragon Zing, too. But he’s not quite prepared for the adventure that awaits him when a huge secret is revealed about his new friend, Aura. A thrilling secret that will take Tomas and Aura on a journey of discovery that will finally unlock the last mysteries of the dragonfruit tree. A journey of discovery that all the dragons will be in on – and just what will happen when lightning bolt dragon Zing and storm dragon Flicker get together?“
Keep Your Eyes Open for the Magic in the World by Andy Shepherd, author of The Boy Who Grew Dragons series
The Boy Who Sang With Dragons – out 7 January 2021
Over the last year, everyone’s world has got small. In a way, I was maybe more prepared for this than some people, as for many years I had ME/CFS. I went from working full-time as a Campaigner at Oxfam, travelling and living the busy life so many of us live, to being confined at home. For two years the very outer edges of my world were the local park and mostly it was my terraced house with its little garden.
I got very good at noticing small things and looking for something to feel positive about, even if it was minute.
It was a difficult time, but in some ways it was a time that opened my eyes again. To what mattered to me, to what made me happy, to where I could find comfort and peace.
I suppose what I learned was to be mindful, only I’d not heard about mindfulness back then.
I know I wanted – needed – to believe that something magical could happen right on my doorstep. So I nurtured the habit of looking for glimpses of magic in everyday things and everyday moments.
And maybe that’s why I wrote the story I did, about a little boy who finds dragons growing at the bottom of his grandad’s garden.
Tomas is a little boy full of wonder and imagination, he also keeps his eyes wide open and notices the unusual spiky fruit, that someone else might have ignored or thrown away.
Grandad, too, became a bit of comforting, mindful presence for me. He reminds Tomas to stop and pause, to slow down long enough to let the butterfly settle for a moment on his spade and rest, to chew on a salted caramel toffee and be so surprised by the unexpected flavour that his thoughts untangle. And above all, to be kind.
I found comfort in writing these books and hope readers will find that in them too – along with the exploding dragon poo!
As Tomas says in the third book, The Boy Who Flew With Dragons
‘Sometimes you have to look for the magic, and I mean really look, under the brambles and in the nettly edges where most people never think to look. And you might have to dig and dig and dig until your arms ache from digging.’
But if you do keep digging, it’ll be worth it – and who knows you might even find yourself growing dragons!
I love these quotations:
‘And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’ Roald Dahl
A massive thank you to Andy for this fascinating piece! I love a bit of magic, so this is perfect for my blog! I’ve absolutely adored this series and I’m so happy that I’ve got to share a spot on the blopg tour for the final book. If you haven’t read these books already, I really really think you should: they’re perfect for bookworms old and young!