Today I’m sharing the first title in a magical new series for readers aged 6 and up, and it just so happens to feature a rather mischievous baby dragon and their seven-year-old owner, Luma. Be sure to read author Leah Mohammed’s piece about the special bond between children and their pets.
‘When Luma Dewan wakes up on the morning of her seventh birthday, she knows that today will be special. But she has no idea just how wonderful and extraordinary it will be.
For today is the day she will meet Timir – a real talking dragon. Or at least when Luma is around that’s what he is. When anyone else is there, he becomes an ordinary grey puppy with a fluffy tail, who loves chasing squirrels and bouncing on trampolines.
It’s a big secret to keep – and Luma’s clever cousin Arjun is soon suspicious of this peculiar puppy, who doesn’t quite behave like any other dog. Luckily Luma’s grandmother – Nani – is there to help, and to Luma’s surprise, Nani might just know a little dragon magic of her own . . .’
‘Pets and Children’ by Leah Mohammed
One of the reasons I was inspired to write Luma and the Pet Dragon was my daughter’s experience with both our dogs when they were puppies. We got Henry, our Chorkie, when she was six – it was both a wonderful and difficult time for her! Out of all the dogs my family and I have had, Henry was by far the most naughtiest and mischievous puppy. I lost count of the times she was reduced to tears from nips, claws and worse, the theft of her toys. Anything dropped disappeared in seconds: Lego, rubbers, pens, food (sometimes stolen directly from the hand!) and one time, a brand-new little doll she’d been desperately wanting for ages. He also had an obsession with her socks, ripping them off her feet when she came back from school. He was an absolute terror for pretty much the whole first year! But, at the same time, Henry gave my daughter so much in return. As an only child, her relationship with him became almost like that of a sibling – it helped her to learn sharing and empathy, respect and responsibility and how to forgive.
When my daughter was ten, we got our second dog, a teeny chihuahua called Maudie. My daughter took over much of the responsibility of looking after her. She slept with Maudie in a little crate on her bed, waking up in the night to comfort her back to sleep. She never complained about cleaning up after accidents, or too-early mornings. She taught Maudie all the things Henry had taught her and she did it all with so much love and patience. I am so endlessly proud of her!
I hoped very much to capture the unique bond a child can have with their pet in Luma and Timir’s relationship and how much an animal can bring to a child’s life.
To anyone wondering if they should get their child a pet… go for it!
Luma and the Pet Dragon by Leah Mohammed, illustrated by Loretta Schauer (£6.99, Welbeck Children’s) is available now.
I’m so thrilled there’s a new dragon series for younger readers to enjoy. It’s always seemed as though there are lots of brilliant picture books featuring dragons for readers to enjoy but not much to move on to when they want a wordier read. The Luma titles will perfectly bridge this gap. Each title actually features two mini stories in one, making completing the book easily achievable for newly confident readers.
The clear print, liberal scattering of illustrations, and just the right amount of cheekiness from baby dragon, Timir make these very appealing reads indeed. The relatable family set-up with a wise grandma, a flustered mum, and slightly nosy cousins adds to the warmth and charm of the stories.
Highly recommended for readers aged 6+
*Many thanks to Welbeck Flame for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour*