Book Review: Chris D’Lacey’s Gauge

Posted July 1, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Middle-Grade readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Chris D’Lacey’s Gauge



Chris d'Lacey

paranormal fantasy in Hardcover edition that was published by Orchard Books on January 1, 2010 and has 112 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Illustrator: Adam Stower
Other books by this author which I have reviewed include The Fire Within, Gruffen, Glade, Grabber

Second in The Dragons of Wayward Crescent paranormal fantasy series for middle-grade readers and revolving around young Lucy Pennykettle and her dragon-making mom, Liz.

My Take

I do enjoy these stories. They’re so cozy with that element of fantasy in the dragons. Lucy is the quintessential child with her curiosity and stubbornness warring away within her, and yet she does know when to be careful. As for Liz, we would all be lucky to have had her for a mom. She’s determined that her daughter follow her rules, and D’Lacey has such a fun way of ensuring it *she’s says laughing*, yet she’s also very easygoing.

I’d say the theme is that there’s more than one way to skin a cat, lol. That ending certainly was a surprise *more laughter*

The perspective is Lucy’s using a third-person subjective point-of-view, as we hear her thoughts but no one else’s. And she’s too typically a kid who can be so easily embarrassed by her mother’s actions. It’s a major incentive for Lucy to come up with an answer.

The Story

It’s embarrassing. Downright embarrassing that her mother is going to get them thrown in jail. Just because the town council wants to tear down some old clock.

We can only hope that a dragon who measures time, a ghost, and Lucy can outsmart the wicked Mr. Trustable.

The Characters

Lucy Pennykettle is nine years old and quite skeptical. Liz Pennykettle is her mother and a potter who specializes in clay dragons, whom she creates in the Dragons’ Den.

The dragons
There are two types: the ones Liz sells and the special ones she keeps. The special ones include the listening dragon in the kitchen; Gruffen, who is a guard dragon (Gruffen, 1) who comes with his very own instruction manual; Gawain and Guinevere who have their own special roles; and, Gwendolen is Lucy’s special dragon.

Gauge is the special dragon in this story who loves to measure time.

Henry Bacon is their grumpy next-door neighbor who works at the library. Miss Baxter is Lucy’s teacher. Roger Trustable is with the Town Council. Hmmm…”trustable”…? Mr. Higson is his troublemaker. Sir Rufus Trenchcombe is the ghostly Clockmaker to the Crown.

The Cover and Title

The cover is much darker than those pictured on the Internet. The one I’m reading is a dark, dark smudgy metalllic green for a background with a silver metallic oval in the center surrounded by a metallic copper outer border and a red inner one. Gauge, a green skinned dragon with scattered scales of gold, fills the center. Wearing a blue velvet vest with lapels, he’s hunkered down, examining his special pocket watch connected to his vest pocket with a gold chain. The series information is in a curly gothic font in white at the top while the title is in the same font in copper against a deep cream scroll at the base of the oval graphic. The author’s name is at the very bottom in a serif white.

The title is the focus of this story, the time-measuring dragon named Gauge.