top of page

Book Review: The First Shadowdragon by Lee Newbery (Puffin)

Illustrated by Laura Catalán


For ages 7+


The First Shadowdragon by Lee Newbery with illustrations Laura Catalán (Puffin, 2023) For ages 7+. The sequel to The Last Firefox, this is a ‘St George and the Dragon’ legend-like adventure with lots of imaginative twists and turns. Discover some very amusing talking animals with attitude, truly nail-biting moments, and an authentic representation of same-sex parenting, plus a normalisation of LGBTQ+ tween relationships.

About the book

🌱The Last Firefox, the 1st book in this series, was one of my favourite books of 2022, so I was really looking forward to the sequel. One of the things that works so very well and brings this story to life for the reader are the illustrations, which are plentiful and so expressive; there are even double spread detailed illustrations! This aside, it’s great to be back in Wales with Charlie, his dads, his adopted lively baby sister Edie who comes as a package with her comfort toy Madam Sugarpuff, and his magical pet fire fox, Cadno.


The First Shadowdragon by Lee Newbery with illustrations Laura Catalán (Puffin, 2023) For ages 7+. The sequel to The Last Firefox, this is a ‘St George and the Dragon’ legend-like adventure with lots of imaginative twists and turns. Discover some very amusing talking animals with attitude, truly nail-biting moments, and an authentic representation of same-sex parenting, plus a normalisation of LGBTQ+ tween relationships.
Words © Lee Newbery + Illustrations © Laura Catalán


🌱After defeating the awful shape-shifting otherworldly monster, the Grendilock, in the last story, the family and Charlie’s friends Lippy and Roo find themselves grappling with the possibility of another quest for Fargone. There’s a terrible darkness called the Draig spreading through the magical land and after the Grendilock’s defeat, Charlie is now VERY famous. The creatures and people of Fargone are looking to him to save them and rescue the missing Princess!!


The First Shadowdragon by Lee Newbery with illustrations Laura Catalán (Puffin, 2023) For ages 7+. The sequel to The Last Firefox, this is a ‘St George and the Dragon’ legend-like adventure with lots of imaginative twists and turns. Discover some very amusing talking animals with attitude, truly nail-biting moments, and an authentic representation of same-sex parenting, plus a normalisation of LGBTQ+ tween relationships.
Illustrations © Laura Catalán

🌱As the protagonist, Charlie is a worrier, finds it hard to come out his shell, but is actually a great leader when he has the support and kindness of his friends and family, especially if Cadno is by his side - they build him up to have an inner faith and bravery that he struggles with on his own. A powerful deer-like creature from Fargone joins them on their quest, they name her ‘Blodyn’ (Welsh for ‘flowers’). As featured on the cover artwork, she’s a beautiful representation of nature and is the key to defeating the terrible foe. The final new member of the daring quest party is a sword-wielding Princess who becomes Lippy’s sweetheart by the end of the story.


The First Shadowdragon by Lee Newbery with illustrations Laura Catalán (Puffin, 2023) For ages 7+. The sequel to The Last Firefox, this is a ‘St George and the Dragon’ legend-like adventure with lots of imaginative twists and turns. Discover some very amusing talking animals with attitude, truly nail-biting moments, and an authentic representation of same-sex parenting, plus a normalisation of LGBTQ+ tween relationships.
Illustrations © Laura Catalán

🌱This is a ‘St George and the Dragon’ legend-like adventure with lots of imaginative twists and turns, some very amusing talking animals with attitude, truly nail-biting moments, and an authentic representation of same-sex parenting, plus a normalisation of LGBTQ+ tween relationships. Book 3 is out in Spring 2024!


About the creators


Lee Newbery (author)

Author, Lee Newbery

Lee Newbery lives with his husband, son and two dogs in a seaside town in West Wales. By day, he helps vulnerable people look for jobs and gain new skills, and by night, he sits down at his laptop to write. Lee enjoys adventuring, drinking ridiculous amounts of tea and giving his dogs a good cuddle - or a cwtch as they say in Wales.



Laura Catalan (illustrator)

Illustrator, Laura Catalán

Laura Catalán is a children’s books illustrator who loves a good story, one that grabs you from the neck and doesn’t let you go until you finish it. She has illustrated about a dozen fiction books and plenty of educational material for Spanish, UK and US publishers.




Key themes

adoption

same-sex parents

LGBTQ+

bravery

fantasy

adventure

friendship

empowering girls

finding your voice

adventures with animals

looking after nature

Welsh history, legends and culture


Buy the book

Buy here through my affiliate link at Bookshop.org or purchase from your local independent bookshop...


Publication date: 27 April 2023

Format: Paperback


Also available in this series:

Book 3 to follow!!


For fans of...


Please like this post and leave me a comment, I'd love to hear your thoughts too

bottom of page