Once upon a time there was a clumsy dragon who was chosen to save the world. It’s just a shame he wasn’t very good at it.
Last year I had the privilege of being introduced to one of the most adorable, flawed, fun middle-grade fiction characters I had ever met: Crispin Scales, a dragon.
The first thing I loved about this story was that its bumbling dragon-hero seemed to go backward. In most hero stories and fantasy epics, we watch the ordinary become extraordinary. Four ordinary school children cross a magic threshold and wind up becoming kings and queens of Narnia. A nerd is bitten by a radioactive spider and starts wearing lycra and climbing walls. A hobbit goes on a journey and returns home with a ring of formidable power.
But what if the story went the other way? What if the story began with a dragon, and a royal dragon at that, one destined for greatness? And then: what if that dragon ultimately lost everything and became, well, just like us?
There is a series of ‘Crispin’ books. I read the first two in their draft format, and couldn’t put them down. Neither, apparently, could the more-than 50 children on whom the stories were tested. The first book, Crispin Scales and the Golden Pearl by Ruby Blessing, was released last month. I can’t wait to buy my own copy. Go here to take a look at the funny and magical world of Crispin for yourself.