Author: Stephanie Burgis
Age group: 8 - 12 years
Page count: 247 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Publication date: May 30th, 2017
Summary from Amazon:
Aventurine is a brave young dragon ready to explore the world outside of her family's mountain cave . . . if only they'd let her leave it. Her family thinks she's too young to fly on her own, but she's determined to prove them wrong by capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human.
But when that human tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, she's transformed into a puny human without any sharp teeth, fire breath, or claws. Still, she's the fiercest creature in these mountains--and now she's found her true passion: chocolate. All she has to do is get to the human city to find herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she'll be conquering new territory in no time . . . won't she?
A classic fantasy with terrific girl power, perfect for fans of Shannon Hale and Jessica Day George.
Aventurine was a strong and relatable character. She didn't feel understood by her family, who scorned her wish to explore the world. After she became a human, her love for chocolate kept her going even though she was rattled. Although she faced internal conflicts, her determination to follow her passion was inspiring. It taught a great lesson about never giving up. Aventurine didn't lose her spunk when she became a human, and her dragon-like confidence showed up in her personality. She never lost sight of herself as someone who could achieve everything she wanted to. If a human got in her way, she knocked them down (literally). Her fierce and courageous attitude made her all the more likable as she learned the true meaning of friendship.
Aventurine's narration was humorous and insightful. It was a fun way to see bustling city life. She compared her surroundings with what she was familiar with as a dragon, her remarks witty and ironic. Lucid descriptions increased the vividness of the setting and gave the story a fresh, unique feel. I enjoyed learning about how chocolate was made, and Aventurine thoroughly explained the process without making me feel as if I were enduring a lecture.
There was a great cast of characters. Each one was flawed, but I could identify with their personalities and understand their behavior. Marina was one of my favorite supporting characters. Her curt and dismissive attitude hid a woman devoted to her craft. I admired how she didn't let other people's opinions affect her.
I loved the mood of the story. Chocolate always triggers a fun memory of hot chocolate during a frigid winter's day, or snacking on candy after Halloween. I could relate to the joy Aventurine felt whenever she was around chocolate. I associate dragons with pride and staunchness, which reflects Aventurine's character. The sweetness of chocolate and fieriness of dragons blended together to make a thrilling book.
The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart has a lovely cover, beautiful illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, and a length readers will not be daunted by. It has great messages about following your dreams and the power of friendship. It is a touching story perfect for any library. Chocolate, dragons, and a strong protagonist will make this an appealing book for anyone. I highly recommend it.
Taken from her website.