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Josh Lacey is the author of many books for children including The Island of Thieves, Bearkeeper, The Dragonsitter and the Grk series. He has worked as a journalist and written one book for adults, God is Brazilian. His first book for children, A Dog Called Grk, was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and is written under the pseudonym Joshua Doder.
Josh lives in London with his wife and daughters.
With the pizzazz and humour that make his Dragonsitter books so popular, Josh Lacey tells the story of one girl’s efforts to save the planet. Like many ten-year olds Hope Jones is worried about the state of the environment, and about plastic pollution in particular. Her dad is always saying if you want something done, you have to do it yourself, so she sets about doing what she can. Her adventures are recounted via her lively blog and we get a ringside view of her peaceful protest outside the local supermarket, interactions with local businesses, and conversations with neighbours, friends and parents of friends. As her campaign reaches more and more people, Hope realises that we can all make a difference, if we’re determined enough. There are great illustrations throughout, and it all makes for a fast, entertaining and positive read. Hooray for Hope Jones!
February 2019 Book of the Month | This is book ten in this excellent series which recounts – via email exchanges – the escapades of young Eddie Smith-Pickle and his eccentric Uncle Morton, dragon aficionado and explorer. In this episode, Eddie’s first email to his long-suffering mother is entitled Confession and gets straight to the point: he’s not in Glasgow as mum believes, but 4,329 miles further away. Uncle Morton has persuaded his nephew to accompany him to Mongolia to witness the legendary Great Dragon Battle Ceremony. The trip turns out to be every bit as exciting as you’d expect, and it’s only the arrival of Uncle Morton’s own dragons, Ziggy and Arthur, that prevents Eddie ending up as a dragon’s dinner. The email format ensures the stories are told with the utmost economy, but they’re also full of humour and wit. This is sophisticated storytelling in a really accessible format, no wonder the series has now reached number ten.
There’s great excitement in the Smith-Pickle household when an old egg given to Eddie by Uncle Morton suddenly appears to be hatching. It’s clearly something very special and the cute little feathery creature that emerges has a strange effect on dragons: they seem to be both drawn to it, and terrified of it. With seven dragons in the garden, sporadically trying to attack the little fledgling in the house, no wonder Eddie’s Mum is cross. As ever the story is recounted through Eddie’s emails to Uncle Morton and it makes for fast, funny and highly entertaining reading. This is book nine in a consistently excellent series.
In a nutshell: one of our dragons is missing! More hi-jinks with Uncle Morton and his dragons As fans of this excellent series will know, young Edward Smith-Pickle is often called in to dragon-sit for his Uncle Morton’s two dragons. This time he’s in left charge while Uncle Morton hunts a Kraken but something terrible happens: Ziggy and her son Arthur are dragon-napped! As ever, the action is described by Edward in typically pithy but action-packed emails to his uncle, and his uncle’s occasional laid-back replies. The format makes the stories particularly immediate, not a word is wasted in the telling but the reader has more than enough information to fill in the gaps in Edward’s narrative. Hugely enjoyable, these sophisticated little stories are accessible to all. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: dragons Halloween and a visit from Granny | Josh Lacey’s Dragonsitter stories are little masterpieces of comic storytelling. In each one, the action is revealed via emails between young Edward Smith-Pickles and his uncle Morton, owner of a family of dragons, with Garry Parsons’s illustrations of the photos and selfies sent as attachments adding further detail. Eddie’s matter-of-fact reports form a wonderful contrast with the evident disruption caused by the dragons, particularly when he mentions how the adults involved are reacting. In this adventure Eddie borrows the dragons to boost his chances in a Hallowe’en costume competition, but disaster occurs when the dragons find the Trick or Treat goodies. Apparently simple and very pick-up-able, these are sophisticated little adventures, and very good indeed. ~ Andrea Reece
Josh Lacey’s Dragonsitter books pack really quite huge adventures as well as a lot of laughs into a very short extent, and are perfect for young readers. The Smith-Pickles are still baby-sitting Uncle Morton’s dragons and Eddie takes two, Ziggy and baby Arthur, on a half-term trip with Dad to London. Cue disaster, especially when Arthur escapes in the Natural History Museum. As ever, the story is told via emails from Eddie to his uncle, and his brief reports provide just enough detail to enable the reader to fill in the blanks for a real sense of the chaos being caused. Inventive, clever and hugely satisfying these little books are really very good indeed. ~ Andrea Reece Fans will also enjoy Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, another zany but cleverly written and illustrated adventure.
Josh Lacey’s Dragonsitter stories are short, sharp and very funny. Once again, Eddie Smith-Pickle and his mum are landed with looking after Uncle Morton’s dragons while he’s busy doing something else. This time, their arrival coincides with Eddie’s birthday party, and Mum’s blossoming romance with Gordon. As ever, the havoc the dragons cause is described via Eddie’s emails to his uncle; Eddie gives us the bare basics so the reader fills in the blanks. Suffice to say that everyone has a great time at the party, with the exception of magician Mister Mysterio, and his rabbit. There’s a real adventure packed into this slim volume, perfect for newly independent readers. ~ Andrea Reece ***In addition to a review by our Lovereading4kids editorial expert some children on our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review one of the titles in the Dragonsitter series - Dragonsitter's Island. They loved it. Click here to read their reviews.
All those who love the predicaments of Eddie the Dragonsitter as he tries to manage Ziggy, his Uncle Morton’s wayward pet, will be delighted by this 3-in-1 volume. From Ziggy’s first arrival in The Dragonsitter in which Eddie tries to deal with unexpected fires and a terrified postman through a host of adventures in The Dragonsitter Takes Off when Ziggy reveals a very unexpected secret to yet more excessive adventures in The Dragonsitter’s Castle which features fireworks with loud and surprising results, every story will delight. A review of The Dragonisitter - A hilarious story full of useful tips for any dragon-minder. When Eddie’s Uncle Morton goes off on an urgent mission he leaves his dragon behind with Eddie as the babysitter. But a dragon is not easy to look after and what with dragon poo on the carpet, burn holes through the fridge door and flames in the curtains, Mum is soon at the end of her tether. What is Eddie to do? Eddie’s increasingly desperate emails to his uncle recount the terrible things the dragon does. What will his uncle’s remedy be? ***In addition to a review by our Lovereading4kids editorial expert some children on our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review one of the titles in the Dragonsitter series - Dragonsitter's Island. They loved it. Click here to read their reviews.
A welcome addition to the highly entertaining Dragonsitter series which has previously been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Eddie is looking after his Uncle Morton’s dragon on a remote Scottish island. As ever with anything to do with Uncle Morton, nothing goes entirely to plan. Eddie is managing a locked house, the dinosaurs, some grumpy neighbours and…the Loch Ness Monster. Can he keep everyone safe before his uncle returns?
Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2013 A welcome return to this series, previously shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize. Edward Pickle-Smith writes to his Uncle Morton to ask him why his dragons have arrived unexpectedly. How can he persuade his Uncle Morton to come and fetch them? Edward has done dragon sitting before and knows just what a handful his charges can be! Taking them to a castle in Wales seems like a good idea but even there the dragons can get into lots of trouble. ***In addition to a review by our Lovereading4kids editorial expert some children on our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review one of the titles in the Dragonsitter series - Dragonsitter's Island. They loved it. Click here to read their reviews.
Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the first book about Eddie and Ziggy, a very unusual dragon, is now followed by a sequel. Eddie had thought that looking after a dragon would be easy but how wrong he is! How Eddie manages his wayward dragon and deals with the fire breathing friend who comes to visit her is a brilliant follow up for all of Eddie and Ziggy’s fans. ***In addition to a review by our Lovereading4kids editorial expert some children on our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review one of the titles in the Dragonsitter series - Dragonsitter's Island. They loved it. Click here to read their reviews.
If you're looking for plenty of action and adventure then Josh Lacey creates it in spades. The protagonist is a boy called Tom who also featured in Josh's previous novel The Island of Thieves. Tom with the help of his uncle must find a a jewel encrusted tiger that belonged to his family many generations before and which is now being sought by a ruthless man who will stop at nothing to get his hands on it.