We have had such a roaring good time this week, what with all the celebrations and giveaways and, most of all, DRAGONS! If you haven’t yet picked up your very own copy of Joshua McCune’s thrilling new YA novel Talker 25, trust us when we say ACT NOW! Find it online at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or shop locally at your favorite bookstore or with the help of Indiebound. We’ll even wait for you. Go ahead.
MOY, wait! Not you! You have WON a signed hardcover! A mysterious figure will be contacting you shortly to arrange a handoff in a secluded glade.
OK, everyone else, are you back? Awesome.
So we ‘Mus have been inspired by all the cool dragons in Talker 25, and we were thinking — all of us must have a dragon counterpart, right? That one special dragon who would be the perfect BFF? Well, I’ve been playing matchmaker! Let’s meet our new human-dragon friends!
Laurie Ann Thompson . . .
We know Laurie is kind and smart, but she also admits to being a bit lazy, hating the cold, and needing food to be readily accessible at all times. And what’s wrong with wanting a little comfort and a little peace? Nothing at all. And that’s exactly the attitude of Laurie’s dragon friend, The Reluctant Dragon.
The titular character from the short story by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1898, is leading a comfortable life, reading poetry and enjoying the countryside. But when faced with adversity, the Reluctant Dragon proves he’s as quick-witted as any villager. Now he and Laurie just need to decide who gets the biggest bookshelf.
Lindsey Lane . . .
Lindsey describes herself as both silently rebellious and easily led astray. We know her as a kind, loving person, but she also acknowledges having a gullible streak. Don’t worry, Lindsey, you and your dragon best friend make the world a better place. Say hello to Elliott, the non-Pete half of the 1977 classic, Pete’s Dragon.
Sure, Elliott has a knack for accidentally getting in trouble, and he can be too trusting, but under that innocent exterior, he’s a force of goodness that changes Pete’s life forever. Who knows, maybe if you wish hard enough, Lindsey and Elliott will come to work their magic on your town.
Gladys Gatsby . . .
Gladys is the 11-year-old foodie protagonist of Tara Dairman’s delightful middle grade novel, All Four Stars. Gladys, of course, would be drawn to a dragon who appreciated her excellent cooking. That’s why she’d get along famously with the Terrible Creature from Valerie Scho Carey and Lynne Cherry’s Harriet and William and the Terrible Creature.
You see, the Terrible Creature has eaten all of his plants and is forced to live on rocks, which are not very delicious. I’m sure Gladys could tempt him with some crème brulée!
Amy Finnegan . . .
Amy was the easiest Emu to match up with a mythological pal. She needed a hugs-n-rainbows dragon. She is a hugs-n-rainbows dragon. There’s only one place for Amy to find her soulmate — a magical land called Equestria, home of the cutest, huggiest, rainbowiest dragon of all: Spike!
Many of us of a Certain Age remember vintage Spike, the My Little Ponies’ awesome purple friend. Don’t worry, little guy — Amy’s going to take great care of you!
Rebecca Van Slyke . . .
It was hard to imagine a dragon who could keep up with Rebecca. She writes everything from picture books to middle grade, she illustrates, she teaches second grade, and she’s a wannabe cowgirl/penguin tamer! I’m tired just thinking about it. Rebecca really needs a dragon friend with endless energy and a sunny disposition who’s just a little bit tough (in case the cows, penguins, or second graders get out of line). And what dragon fits the bill better than Spyro?
Whether he’s collecting gems, skateboarding, or playing cat hockey, Spyro has a lot to contend with in his wildly successful and wildly fun video game series. But he always comes out on top and ready to go. Together, he and Rebecca could take over the world!
Adi Rule . . .
I had to be honest with myself, here, about who my dragon bestie — bestie — would be. I’m a dragon aficionado from way back. It would be easy to portray myself holding hands with brainy Figment or cuddly Dragolin, but although they were both dear friends of mine, that would be a lie.
My favorite dragon, my Other Half dragon, has always been Bryagh from The Flight of Dragons. While Smrgol and Lunarian and the others are worried about saving the last vestiges of magic in the world, Bryagh is cruising around laying waste to the land and eating dragon eggs. He’s the honey badger of dragons and I love him.
Donna Bowman Bratton . . .
Sometimes silly, sometimes serious, Donna is a bit of a prankster who loves the outdoors. While the other Emus are finding their partners in crime, I think Donna would actually be a perfect best friend for Haku, not because they are super alike, but because she would be good for him.
Haku, the graceful sometimes-dragon from Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece Spirited Away, is a beautiful soul who protects his friends and the natural world. But he can be overly serious and sometimes even a little scary. I think he and Donna would connect over their devotion to nature, and her whimsical antics would help him lighten up a bit!
The Mothman . . .
No, we’re not revealing that the Mothman is the newest Emu (he obviously uses a pseudonym when he blogs here), but we will tell you he’s a character in Christine Hayes‘s upcoming creepy middle grade novel, The Mothman’s Curse. I have to say, the Mothman being besties with a dragon might be the best idea ever. But who would he click with? This was a toughie for me, but I finally came to the conclusion that he and Smaug might hit it off.
Now, I’m not talking about Arrogant Talky-Talk Smaug, or Wreaking Havoc Smaug, I’m talking about Hanging Out Under The Mountain For Years Smaug. Alone in the darkness with all his things, being all eldritch and quiet, watching (or not), rumbling (or not) — that is super creepy. He and the Mothman could totally be all creepy together.
Megan Morrison . . .
In Megan’s words, she is “late, quick-tempered, and obsessive.” I happen to know that, besides being a rockstar writer, she is also a talented singer/lyricist, particularly in the Space Cat Opera genre. But what her choice of self-describing adjectives says to me is that Megan needs a big, sweet, fuzzy friend to slow down her hectic schedule. Who better than Falkor?
Falkor is the gentle luckdragon from Michael Ende’s 1979 novel The Neverending Story, and from the 1984 film of the same name. (Sorry . . . give me a minute . . . Artax . . .) This maybe lion-like, maybe dog-like fellow is easy-going, super lucky, and always there just when you need him. And he’d love it if Megan gave him a nice scratch behind his ears!
Penny Parker Klostermann . . .
Penny would be awesome to go camping with. She’s enthusiastic and cheerful, loves the outdoors, and is a “walkaholic.” And she’s passionate about picture books, so you know those stories around the campfire would be extra entertaining. She admits to being a little forgetful, in a scatterbrained way, and sure, sometimes her jokes are corny, but she would be a perfect match for a dragon who likes a lot of exercise, has a sense of humor, and is always up for a good time. Who better to share Penny’s wilderness outings than Toothless?
Toothless, from omgbestmovieever How to Train Your Dragon, based on the books by Cressida Cowell, is always ready for adventure. And talk about enthusiastic. He just exudes YES, LET’S! And I bet Toothless would appreciate a good picture book just as much as a fun romp through the woods.
Joshua McCune . . .
Finally, we come to the Dragon Master, Joshua McCune himself. Quake, mortals, for Josh is a darker, growlier, angrier dragon — don’t let his innocent smile and awesome t-shirt fool you. This week belongs to Josh and Talker 25, so there is really only one dark, growly, angry dragon I could set him up with. One of the oldest and most feared dragons in literature, so terrible we do not speak or even know its name: the dragon from Beowulf. Never has so much homicidal rage rained down in fiery blasts than when this dragon was on the rampage. A slave stole a cup from it (dragons don’t even use cups), and instead of alerting the authorities, it decided to KILL AND BURN EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE.
Enter the hero Beowulf, the badassest of badasses: “Oh, what, Grendel’s giving you trouble? Why don’t I just rip his arm off and then kill his mom. By the way, I’m king now, so On Your Knees, B*tches.” But you know what was Beowulf’s undoing? This freaking dragon. Sure, Beowulf defeated it in the end (according to the propaganda, anyway), but he needed his BFF’s help and, P. S., he died. [Spoiler alert. For the previous sentence. You know what, I’m not even sorry, if you don’t know Beowulf dies at the end of Beowulf, you’ve missed your window of Spoiler Protection by about 1200 years.] So look at that picture again. Is Josh’s smile that of an innocent YA author, or is it the fiendish grin of a dragon-worshipping maniac? You decide. The puppies in that burning windmill? They already know.
So who would your dragon BFF be? Let us know in the comments!