Dragons at Crumbling Castle and Other Tales
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s
Published on February 3, 2015
This collection features more than a dozen stories penned early in Pratchett’s career. Readers will discover carpet people bravely journey from their homes among rug fibers to discover strange new settlements, including one high on the leg of a table. A bus travels back in time, nearly trapping its inhabitants in long ago days. A curious tortoise escapes his lawn and saves woodland creatures from a deadly snake. An enterprising young lad teams up with a wizard to rid a castle of its dragon inhabitants.
Each imaginative story features charming characters and light, often bizarre, humor. Father Christmas gets an ordinary job, but can’t help bringing Christmas cheer wherever he goes. A city mayor decides to increase tourism by creating rumors of a monster in its lake. Things never go quite as the main character expects, and there’s always a bit of a funny twist. It’s easy to see the author’s talent and creativity even in these early pieces.
The humor will be most appreciated by adults as it’s often clever word-plays. The whimsical nature of the stories and out-of-the-box approach that many of the characters have make it a great pick for reading to smaller children.