Three woodland animals take a journey to bring a baby dragon back to his home.
When Twig, a chipmunk, left home with his adopted baby dragon and found a ship-in-a-bottle that could be reassembled outside the bottle (Brambleheart: A Story About Finding Treasure and the Unexpected Magic of Friendship, 2016), he set off bravely for parts unknown. Now Twig, his best friend, Lily (a rabbit), and their enemy-inexplicably-turned-friend, Basil (a weasel), are sailing down a river, trying to bring baby dragon Char back to his home—with no hint where that may be. Fragile Char’s susceptible to hunger and cold; he understands when the animals talk to him, but he doesn’t reply, not even when he revives after eating fish that Lily catches by weaving a net. The adventure goes from river to open ocean to island. They find Char’s family and an old enemy finds them, clarifying (grimly) an emotionally confusing event from Brambleheart. Dangers are all overcome, either with ingenuity and teamwork or with help in the form of a beaver, a sea turtle, or an adult dragon appearing exactly when needed. Cole’s pencil drawings appear on almost every spread, earnest, immediate, and expressive. They help with storytelling, as when readers can discern that a mysterious, ship-blocking wall is a beaver dam several pages before the text says so.
Animal fantasy adventure with a gentle feel. (Fantasy. 6-10)