Rates “Mindel and The Misfit Dragons” – “Excellent!”

Mindel and The Misfit Dragons” by Xianna Michaels is a beautiful fairy tale told in verse about a little girl of eight who has a serious problem to deal with and manages to solve it beautifully with the aid of three rather unorthodox dragons. To begin with, the book is printed in black and white in the manner of a medieval illustrated manuscript, with each page displaying decorated capital letters, the text inscribed in Carolingian minuscule (as best I can tell) and with miniatures or full illustrations on every page throughout.

Mindel and her parents live in a drafty castle called Draconmere and although they love their home dearly, it presents a number of problems that may require their leaving it. Sir Benjamin, Lady Leah and Mindel wish very much to keep the Laws of the Sabbath in proper Jewish fashion but there is the problem of the castle gate which relies on the grinding wheel for its power and alas, that is not allowed on the Sabbath. Further, Lady Leah’s cholent stew puts the guards to sleep and the drafty castle keeps blowing the Friday night candles out. Such unusual problems call for unusual solutions and this is where the three dragons—each unique in his or her own way—come to the rescue.

There are also some dastardly dragon eels, but you will get to them in good time and, as the book is in verse, you will get there all too swiftly as the story sings itself along before you can give each beautiful page the admiration it deserves.

Xianna Michaels has given us an unforgettable book perfect not only for her Jewish grandchildren to whom it is dedicated, but for all children who love castles and dragons and who, given pen and paper, could probably make some very wonderful decorated capital letters of their own. suggests that, with a few simple art supplies tossed in, “Mindel and the Misfit Dragons” would make the perfect gift for the eight-twelve year olds on your list.

Rating: Excellent!
Reviewed by: M.K.Turner

Category: Children’s Books
Publisher: Alcabal Press
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