The Tea Dragon Society

On her walk home from apprenticing in her half-goblin mother's blacksmith shop, Greta finds two scary-looking dogs cornering a tiny, terrified animal. Realizing the dogs are hungry, Greta gives them the meat she was bringing home for dinner and scoops up the little creature. At home, she gets a closer look at the animal. Seafoam green in color, it looks to be some sort of baby dragon... with leaves growing out of its horns. Greta's scholarly human father knows exactly what the animal is and who it belongs to.

A "little way out of town," the Sylph, Hesekiel, runs a tea shop with his human partner, Erik. Hesekiel is delighted to have Greta reunite him with the tiny Tea Dragon, a mercurial, domesticated animal whose leaves are harvested and turned into highly desired tea. But raising a Tea Dragon (and its leaves) to maturity is a difficult and time-consuming task and, of the many members who used to be part of a worldwide Tea Dragon appreciation and caregiving group called the Tea Dragon Society, Hesekiel and Erik are now the only two left. Greta's interest in and commitment to the dragons pulls her into the cozy world of the Tea Dragon trade.

The pace of Katie O'Neill's (Princess Princess Ever After) world is reflected by the design of the graphic novel: gentle, fully saturated colors and story development that is leisurely yet full of life. The page's natural white space acts as the borders for each panel illustration, allowing for individual panels to spread out organically. The magic of the world is in the forefront as the novel and color palette move from season to season, beginning and ending with spring. Greta's story is soft and sweet, a journey of growing love and friendships. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

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