Yes hello, I am in LOVE with this series and it has taken over my whole heart!
If you know me, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been doing book reviews unless I have an ARC… but this book really moved me to make this whole post. The Tea Dragon Festival made me CRY just by looking at the page before the title page!!
I’m pretty sure this is just a personal thing. I’m not guaranteeing you will cry as immediately as me. Chances are you’re just a normal person who will enjoy this book an average amount, and you won’t cry just by looking at one tiny image, like me. But you might!
a little anecdote:
As you might have guessed, I love dragons. I love How to Train Your Dragon, and I love the idea of pocket size dragons and the ones that could fit on your shoulder. I love to read about dragons, I love to see them in art, and I love… them. I love them. They make me happy.
I don’t know what it is exactly, although I must admit it partially comes from the fact that I’m currently writing a book with dragons in it (and I love them too). I read the first Tea Dragon book about a year ago, and it absolutely melted my heart in the best way. (Tears were literally streaming down my face by the time I finished, but like, I cry over anything and you can’t really trust me and my wild emotions). But the most emotional experience with dragons I’ve had was probably when I started playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
It was my very first *official* video game, and I had been excited to play it for a long time, so I was pretty hyped. Everything in the game was so good and so cute and emotional to me, it was honestly like reading a book. And when I found out there were dragons in the game?? I was ecstatic.
The first time I saw a dragon in that game, my eyes welled up with tears and I was so so happy. I immediately tried to get as close to that dragon as I could, and I promptly spent the next few days trying to figure out how to spend more time with those magical Hyrule dragons.
So I don’t know how to explain it, but there’s a bit of context to demonstrate that I will basically cry at any and all dragons.
Thanks for reading my embarrassingly emotional rant about dragons.
The Book & Synopsis:
Description from Goodreads: Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn’s adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep, but Rinn’s real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost.
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy, graphic novel
Release date: 2019, Oni Press
Series: Book #2 out of 3 (the third and final book releases in late 2020)
Normally I categorize parts of my reviews as “The Good Parts” or “Things That Could Have Been Better” or something like that, but my only category in this review is “The Best” because this book series is the best.
I love this book with my whole heart. I am literally writing this review just to tell you this.
Okay, all jokes aside, this really is a good graphic novel series. If you enjoy cute fantasy graphic novels, or anything cute at all, I highly recommend you try out these books.
The Tea Dragon Festival (2019) is, technically, a prequel to to The Tea Dragon Society (2017), but I suppose you could read them out of order if you wanted to (the main characters are not the same). If you understand that this book is a) aimed at children (or anyone who just wants a cute story about small villages and dragons) and b) has very little plot, you should have an open-enough mind to love it.
I went into The Tea Dragon Festival hoping to get more than what we got in the previous installment, and I was definitely satisfied! While TTDS was adorable, it was also terribly short, and there was just a very small plot going on. On the other hand, TTDF was much longer, and there was more nuance in the story, in my opinion.
I had more time to get to know these characters, and overall, it just felt like I was there, witnessing what an average day in the village was like. This book was relaxing and beautiful in so many ways.
And I’ve rarely seen a children’s book so diverse. Almost all of the characters are POC. The main character, Rinn, is Black and non-binary/gender-fluid (this is only implied, and Rinn’s pronouns appear to be “she/they”), there is a m/m relationship, and the whole village uses sign language to better communicate with a deaf community member.
My only complaint about this series, particularly with the first book, is that I wish these books were longer. The Tea Dragon Festival is twice as long as The Tea Dragon Society, which was already so short that it only took me 30 minutes to complete.
Either way, I can’t describe how happy these little books make me feel. They are so heartwarmingly wholesome, and I cannot recommend them enough.
I mostly rate books based on how much they make me feel while reading them. The more I feel, the more I think of it as a great book. It may have flaws, but I will love a book if it makes me cry or feel a lot of good emotions. Did this book do any of those things for me? Absolutely.
It’s just so wholesome. Not matter how you read it, it will surely bring a smile to your face.
Have you read the Tea Dragon books? Do you also love dragons? These are the only things I am prepared to chat about at this time, thank you and goodnight.
Chat with me about it!
Happy reading, everyone! Have a lovely day! Please stay safe and healthy!