Kenny & The Book of Beasts by Tony DiTerlizzi

Sweet Kenny Rabbit and his dragon buddy Grahame are back but things are changing. Will adding new friends and facing new challenges come between these two best friends?


In this highly anticipated sequel to New York Times bestselling and Caldecott Honor–winning author Tony DiTerlizzi’s Kenny and the Dragon, Kenny must cope with many changes in his life—including the fear that he’s losing his best friend.

What can come between two best friends?

Time has passed since Kenny Rabbit’s last adventure with his best friend, the legendary dragon Grahame, and a lot has changed in the sleepy village of Roundbrook.

For starters, Kenny has a whole litter of baby sisters. His friends are at different schools and Sir George is off adventuring.

At least Kenny still has his very best friend, Grahame. That’s before Dante arrives. Dante is a legendary manticore and an old friend of Grahame’s. Old friends spend a lot of time catching up. And that catching up does not involve Kenny.

But there’s a Witch to defeat, a pal to rescue, and a mysterious book to unlock. And those are quests for best friends, not old friends. Right? from Goodreads


I just love an unlikely friendship. Add a dash of things-aren’t-always-what-we’ve-been-taught and I am there. And, of course, I love Tony DiTerlizzi’s writing and illustrations.

The first book introduces us to Kenny Rabbit who lives in a small town and works in the local bookshop with his friend George, a retired knight and dragon slayer. When Kenny meets and makes friends with a dragon named Grahame, he finds that dragons are not the vicious creatures he’s been taught. Neither Grahame nor George want to fight but the village is insisting. Kenny manages to change their minds, and their hearts, and keep both his friends safe.

In this book, Kenny’s life is changing. And, he is not ready. First his Mom has 12 new babies – all sisters. Then, George and Kenny’s other friends are off in different places finding new adventures without Kenny. Kenny is holding onto his last bit of sanity when Dante arrives. Dante was friends with Grahame long before Kenny knew him and, while those two are catching up, Kenny is cast aside. But then everyone’s safety is threatened and Kenny has to decide how to be the kind of person he admires even when he feels like no one likes him at all.

We’ve all been there. I learned a song from the Girl Scouts that went,

“Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms….”

American Songbook

I used to stomp around muttering and singing that song whenever I felt ostricized during elementary school. Well, and maybe middle school. You just feel in your bones that everyone is moving away from you as quickly as possible and you can’t control it. So you complain. Did I talk to anyone? Nope. I just complained and sang this song. I can’t imagine why people didn’t want to play with me.

This book captured the feeling of being outside perfectly, even when you aren’t truly being excluded. The way that Kenny dealt with it resonated as both realistic and idealistic but I loved it. The fictional experience seems to be that characters have these lovely heart to heart conversations where both sides listen to each other, forgive, and then grow stronger together. It feels instructive and I’m glad that it is there for kids like me. Because, that song was super annoying to my family and did not help my cause one bit at all.

I love these two books and, if you haven’t me Kenny yet, you are in for a treat.

Tell me, please. How did you deal with rejection as a child?


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