Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher

Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher

Bruce Coville
Illustrator:  Gary A. Lippincott 
Fiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
Harcourt, 2007   ISBN: 978-0152062521

Jeremy Thatcher is determined that Mary Lou Hutton is not going to get to kiss him. So after school, after the embarrassing episode in art class, Jeremy runs home as fast as his legs will take him. He takes some back roads and he ends up in a place that he has never seen before. This is pretty odd because his town is very small and he thought he knew his way around all the streets. He finds himself looking at a shop called “Elives’ Magic Shop,” and being a curious boy he decides to go in.

The shop is full of strange and bizarre things but the one object which he cannot take his eyes off is a shining multi-colored ball. At first Mr. Elives does not want to sell the ball to Jeremy but after the boy holds the ball, the old man changes his mind. He sells the boy the ball for twenty-five cents and he gives Jeremy a care sheet to go with it.

When Jeremy gets home he takes a look at the care sheet and is astonished to read the words “How to Hatch a Dragon’s Egg” at the top of the paper. Surely this is a joke? Can the ball really be a dragon’s egg? Not really believing what he has read Jeremy ends up following the instructions on the care sheet. After all, it can’t hurt can it?

So he takes the ball outside at night when the moon is full and stays with it for three hours. And... the egg – for that is what it is - begins to hatch. Sure enough the creature that emerges is indeed a baby dragon. Luckily the care sheet which once told Jeremy how to hatch the egg now tells him how to care for the baby dragon. Carefully he feeds the baby raw liver and milk, and he names her. He also discovers that he and the dragon can communicate telepathically. They do not talk to one another using words but send pictures to another instead. They also share their feelings.

It doesn’t take long for Jeremy to become very fond of Tiamat and for her to become devoted to him. A problem does develop however. Tiamat is growing at an astonishing pace. It is one thing to have a pint sized dragon in ones room but it is something else altogether to have one which is the size of a large cow living in ones house. Jeremy knows that the time will soon come when Tiamat will have to go to her “home,” wherever that is. The very idea appalls him and he cannot imagine what it would be like to be without her. How can he bear letting her go? At the same time he knows that she cannot stay here. Someone will surely see her before long.

In this beautifully crafted story Bruce Coville not only takes his readers on a wonderful magical adventure but he also explores the nature of a very special friendship. Jeremy forms a very close and unique connection with his dragon and losing that connection is heartbreaking for him. But, in the end, all is not lost after all and we are able to celebrate with Jeremy and feel proud that he is one of the chosen few, a true Dragon Hatcher.