The Dragon Carousel by Novella Genelza

The Dragon Carousel

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Written and illustrated by an 11-year-old girl, this children’s book tells the wonderful tale of a little girl in San Francisco who must attend a new school and leave old friends behind.

Motherless Lily Chen lives in San Francisco near the wharf, and her father operates the Dragon Carousel in Golden Gate Park. When her father’s work schedule changes, it necessitates Lily attending a new school, Oakpark Elementary, and leaving her old friends behind. Feeling isolated and alone, she’s having a hard time adjusting, until her grandmother gives her a good-luck token: a beautiful silver dragon charm on a sparkling silver chain. The charm works its magic, and soon Lily enters a “golden time” in her life, bringing a new friend to ride the Dragon Carousel. Before the age of 12, the author—now a grown-up and an employee of this book’s publishing house—created dozens of short stories, several novels and numerous cartoons. Scans of the original colored-pencil illustrations accompany young Genelza’s honest, endearing original text. It’ll be easy for most children to relate to Lily’s dilemma. Her background, the description of the Dragon Carousel, the problems encountered in the new school and the denouement are all beautifully detailed, resulting in a magical, powerful message for young readers. In addition to the recently drawn new cover, the charming original cover and interior pages are also included. The artwork displays the author’s natural talent and terrific eye for detail, like cracks in a bowl or the springs of a mattress. An especially enchanting illustration depicts Lily standing with a lunch tray surrounded by three new girls, each dressed with delicious details, including platform shoes and sunglasses dangling from a handbag.

A true treasure from a very young author.

Pub Date: July 28th, 2011
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Lekha Publishers
Program: Kirkus Indie
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