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A Dragon Used to Live Here    by Annette LeBlanc Cate order for
Dragon Used to Live Here
by Annette LeBlanc Cate
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Annette LeBlanc Cate's A Dragon Used to Live Here is a beautifully illustrated chapter book aimed at ages seven to ten. It introduces children of the nobility, Thomas and Emily, practicing archery in their grassy castle courtyard.

Searching for a lost arrow, they find an entrance to the castle's lower level. There they meet crabby scribe Meg McThorn, who arouses their curiosity by mentioning that she was their mother Catherine's childhood friend and that a dragon once lived in the castle. They bribe Meg with baked treats to tell them stories - which she does, with many interruptions. In return they help her castle scribing department with its duties.

The tale evolves to include wood elves, knights, the children's father Sir Stephen, a tennis trophy, a basilisk - and the end of the close friendship between Meg and Catherine. Thomas and Emily decide to do whatever it takes to fix this in time for their parents' big anniversary party. After a rocky start, and a night-time tennis tournament, they do succeed.

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