Brambleheart A story about finding treasure and the unexpected magic of friendship

Henry Cole, 1955-

Book - 2016

A young apprentice chipmunk in a guild of craftsanimals strikes up an unlikely relationship with a dragon who teaches him the meaning of true friendship.

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New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2016]
Main Author
Henry Cole, 1955- (-)
First edition
Physical Description
255 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Fantasies wrapped around the secret, almost human world of woodland animals are perennially churned out and eaten up by young readers. Throw another fantastical animal into the mix a dragon and there are sure to be plenty more kids who will buy in. Cole's (A Nest for Celeste, 2010) charming animal tale centers around Twig, a young chipmunk who is not a traditional learner. School isn't working for him, and he despairs he will never master a discipline and he fears he will be relegated to a lowly errand runner. What he does have a talent for, though, is adventure. He gets plenty when he finds a dragon's egg that later hatches. He keeps the little guy, Char, a secret, and the dragon helps Twig with new metalworking assignments, giving him purpose. When Char is discovered and locked up as dangerous, Twig rallies his friends to help rescue the dragon and return it to its proper home. Adventures ensue and all ends hopefully, though a little abruptly, which surely means more to come.--Cruze, Karen Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Twig just isn't like anyone else he knows. Despite being well-meaning, sensitive, and thoughtful, the little chipmunk can't seem to fulfill the expectations of his teachers or his community. On "the Hill," aptitude in crafts is the only acceptable route to prestige and a named place in the social hierarchy. Twig tries, but he'd rather read picture books and dream than practice his knots or brush up on his lousy welding skills. When a chance adventure ends in Twig and his best friend, Lily, assuming responsibility for a baby dragon, Twig's skills get a boost but his future becomes even more precarious. What does he truly want? Who does he want to be? In this sweet but slightly heavy-handed illustrated fable, Cole tackles large themes with a gentle tone. Failure, frustration, family, and friendship are at the heart of this sweet tale, and loyalty and camaraderie are the driving forces of the simple plot. The ending, which includes a surprising about-face from a secondary character, feels rushed but leaves the story pleasingly open-ended. VERDICT A good pick for proficient younger readers who prefer gentler themes.-Katya Schapiro, Brooklyn Public Library © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A young chipmunk finds his path. Twig lives with other rodents and small mammals on the Hill, which is made of discarded metal, plastic, and rubber. But this isn't dystopic pollutionnarrative descriptions are romantically pastoral, with golden sunlight, sweet-smelling earth, bird song, and bees in honeysuckle. Twig's problem is school: he doesn't merit being named master of any specialty (such as Weaver, Smelter, or Carver) at the upcoming Naming Ceremony and will be forced to work as a scorned, lowly Errand Runner. Venturing farther afield than he's ever beendown a river he's never seenTwig finds an egg that hatches into a dragon in front of his eyes. Animal-fantasy purists will be as surprised as Twig himself. Sneaking the dragon home, Twig faces issues of integrity. The dragon's fiery breath welds metal for Twig's school projects, which is cheating; encaging a dragon is wrong. Freeing it, on the other hand, might free Twig, too. Twig's friend Lily, a rabbit, stays by his side, and an enemy inexplicably turns friend. Textual platitudes are dull stuff but easy to skim over. What's special are Cole's black-and-white pencil drawings, earnest yet emotionally sharp. Many are full-bleed pages; some convey information that the text doesn't, such as the fact that the Burrow of Confinement (the Hill's prison) is an abandoned front-load washing machine. Nestled in a small trim size, this is an appealing and accessible genre blend. (Fantasy. 6-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.