Dragon Skin


Pip knows that the half-dead little creature she finds in the creek bed is a dragon, immediately. Thereafter, she names it Little Fella and feeds it mushed arrowroot biscuits and Weetabix. It’s Laura Denning who discovers he likes apple, but then Laura is a Dragon singer.

It’s Pip with the Dragon Skin. It means that she feels what Little Fella feels, from his growing and stretching, urgency and pain, to his determination to leave. What’s more, she’s hearing Mika, talking to him still, although he left them some time ago. Nothing has been the same since Mika.

Pip’s still staying away from Matt, though her mother remains in thrall to him, watching her phone, warning Pip to be quiet, making his breakfast just as he likes it. However, the tiptoeing is too much. It’s eggshells all the way.

Why has Pip discovered Little Fella? What does he mean? Could his growing and strength have something to do with her and what she needs to do with her life?

Bookwagon is knocked sideways by Dragon Skin. Somehow this novel gets into our heart and minds so that we’re breathing with Pip in the heat, alongside feeling her grief, frustration, fear and growing determination. This is an exceptional book. What’s more, we urge our readers of any age to discover, Dragon Skin. 

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Dragon Skin

Karen Foxlee

(Pushkin Children’s)

It is as though Pip can feel the Dragon Skin. It means that when Little Fella stretches, is inspired, aflame, she captures every feeling within her. Meanwhile, Mika continues to speak to her in her head, guiding and encouraging her. Although the other children miss Mika, it seems none know how much his absence hurts. What’s more, there’s her mother’s absence. It seems that ever since Matt and his four-wheel drive and beers in the fridge cam into their lives, Pip’s mother’s been different. She’s distracted, anxious, fearful of upsetting him, resistant to tending to ‘Little Swan’, Pip.
Therefore, Pip wanders to the cave, the bunyip hole, all the places about which the neighbourhood kids are warned, in order to recapture Mika and talk to him. After all, these were the places to which they wandered into the dark hours. It’s certainly nowhere that Laura, with her endless questions and pink plaits and unicorns, would explore. However, what if Pip is forced to show her Little Fella? Then again, what if Archie follows them?
Bookwagon has been holding its breath, waiting for a new title from Karen Foxlee. It seems her novels, including Lenny’s Book of Everything hold such insight, tenderness, hope and possibility. We are soaring and stunned by Dragon Skin and recommend it to readers of any age. This is an exceptional novel.


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