There is so much you can do with a large museum. You can play with its exhibits and you can give them life and put them in books. If you do that, and I read it, I will feel both intelligent and knowledgeable, because I get to hobnob with historically important items.
Thank you, Charlie Fletcher, for making the statues of the British Museum come to life. Admittedly, real live people end up as statues in their place (but this is fiction and I fully expect them to be turned back to soft and warm human beings again, some time). You need to make sacrifices to make a good book.
And that’s what Dragon Shield is; a nice and snappy, exciting and fun children’s book. Admirably short too, and like so many books, the first of a trilogy.
Brother and sister Will and Jo are the only humans left moving when the rest of London – and the world, I assume – turn to ‘stone.’ Why, and what has actually happened? (The answer is I don’t know yet. OK, we know why them, but not much more.)
It’s lovely getting to know so many of London’s statues. Who knew they had such personality? Next time I’m there I will speak to them. Not the dragons. They are not nice. But the Georges – of dragon fame – are charming.
You might think the plot sounds similar to that of The Sleeping Army by Francesca Simon, but that just goes to show how it’s possible to take the same museum and statues awakening and make a totally different story with those ingredients.
It’s great playing with history.