Monday, March 17, 2014

Within the Pages: Wordsworth and the Dragon

Wordsworth and the Dragon
By Scotti Cohn
Published 2013 by Cavabok Press

Looking at the cover of Wordsworth and the Dragon, you'll figure you're in for a retelling of a classic fairytale. There's a dragon, a kingdom, and a boy riding a...a cavabok? And that's just the first surprise in author Scotti Cohn's charming chapter book with the equally whimsical illustrations by Christina Wald. Read on to find out more about why I loved this book.

First, a summary of Wordsworth and the Dragon from Amazon:
     The Kingdom of Atoz is thrown into a panic when the letter C disappears from the Royal Alphabet. No one can say or write the letter, and it has vanished from all the books in the kingdom. Sir Clooney becomes Sir Looney. A sign in a bakery window offers "akes" and "fresh baked pie rust." The librarian, Lord Reading, tries to recite his favorite poem but the lines come out all wrong. "A terrible rime has been ommitted!" he wails. A young page named Wordsworth believes that the letter C was stolen by a dragon. Seeing a chance to prove himself worthy of knighthood, he heads into the Forest of Spells to fight the dragon and recover the missing letter. Wordsworth isn't acting alone. He has the help of Phrasia, the local witch; Klause, a goat-like creature called a cavabok; and his friend, Princess Rho, who has a secret power. But will that be enough? What will happen when Wordsworth has to face not only a dragon but a gang of large, mean creatures called muddletonques? Who will protect him?

The Character Who Would Have Your Back: Wordsworth, of course! Brave yet humble, the knight-wannabe sees an opportunity to prove himself and save the townspeople from a life without letter 'C'. He's a reliable guy who doesn't let dragon encounters and greedy trolls stand in the way of his goal.

The Character Who Holds a Few Surprises Up Her Mutton Sleeves: Princess Rho. We should expect as much from someone who lets Wordsworth sneak a peak at the royal alphabet behind her father's back. So it's not entirely out of character when she takes matters into her own wings, err, hands when Wordsworth needs a little help.

The Character You Fear and Then You Love: Dash the dragon. Oh! I beg your pardon — that would be Dashburn Drak the Fifth. When he first appears with a mighty WOOMPH!, you fear the worst. But he proves to be one of Wordsworth's greatest allies. And allies are definitely needed against those dreaded Muddletongues.

The Character(s) You DON'T Want to Meet in a Dark Alley: Muddletongues! The big, hairy, troll-like creatures ape around their mud huts with flaming torches, grunting and growling. What trouble have they caused for Wordsworth & company?

Why I read Wordsworth and the Dragon: Author Scotti Cohn is the author of three picture books published by Sylvan Dell, including One Wolf Howls, BIG CAT, Little Kitty, and On the Move. She has also written a number of non-fiction books published by Globe Pequot Press. Aside from being a masterful storyteller, she's been a great writer-friend for over 10 years, so I'm especially pleased to see Wordsworth and his friends finally alive within the pages of this charming story.

Visit Scotti at

Check out Wordsworth in a YouTube trailer, too!

You can also purchase Wordsworth here.


  1. What a fun premise! Very inventive and dragons- well, they're always amazing! =)

  2. First thing I thought of was E-mergency by Tom Lichtenheld and Ezra Field-Meyers. E hurts herself and has to go to the hospital, so O must pinch hit because she is so "well rounded." If you haven't seen it, give it a look and study the illustrations. It's a riot!


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