Book Review: Chris d’Lacey’s Grabber

Posted September 2, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

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 Grabber


in Paperback edition that was published by Orchard Books on June 3, 2010 and has 123 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
(This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.)

Fourth in The Dragons of Wayward Crescent paranormal fantasy series for middle-grade readers and revolving around Liz Pennykettle and her knack for special dragons.

My Take

As ever, Grabber is as cute as the previous three stories — a good, cozy, and funny story about a dragon and how he lives up to the name he’s given, lol — with D’Lacey using third-person objective point-of-view, which allows us to know what each character is saying and doing.

My one niggle in this is Lucy. She knows the rules, and yet she’s breaking them right and left. Okay, okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but she keeps mouthing off about he-who-is-not-yet-named to outsiders!

The irascible Henry is amazingly good-hearted in this one. Then again, maybe I simply have a grudge against him. He does mean well in his anti-everything way, and he certainly does “enjoy” a bit of payback karma in this one *grin*.

There isn’t a lot about the other dragons in this, mostly because Grabber’s story is outside the house on Wayward Crescent.

A wee bit of foreshadowing here when Grabber steals the sergeant’s pencil…and Liz starting thinking of a dragon with a pencil…read on, McDuff, to learn why.

The Story

Oh, no! No one has had time yet to teach the newest dragon the rules! Especially the number one rule: Go solid.

It’s that lack of information that grabs the robber’s attention with the resulting interaction grabbing at each other, as this new and compassionate dragon helps Rob, well, rob.

The Characters

Liz Pennykettle, a.k.a., Mum, is a potter who makes dragons in her studio, the Dragons’ Den. Lucy is her nine-year-old daughter. The special dragons include Guinivere who is Liz’s personal dragon, and it’s her job to “awaken” the young dragons. Gruffen, 1, is a guard dragon whose job is to protect Lucy from danger. Gauge, 2, is a timing dragon. The poor listening dragon hasn’t got a name. Yet.

Scrubbley is…
…the small town in England where Liz and Lucy live. Henry Bacon, a librarian, is the Pennykettles’ grumpy neighbor. Melanie is Lucy’s best friend (Glade, 3).

Detective Inspector Bumble and Sergeant Beale are investigating the robberies. Mr. Badfellow is a glazier who runs a 24-hour service. Bingo is a tabby cat who needs a home.

Ron is a robber who lost Humphrey, his teddy bear, when he was a wee tyke. Douglas Crumbe lives in a mansion, Custard Cream Towers, thanks to his biscuit empire. Alistair Crumbe was Douglas’ father.

The Cover and Title

The cover has an orangey-pink cloud of a frame with tiny green metallic and pastel stars frothing around an undefined pale, pale, pale pink rectangle of a center with Grabber in burglar garb — can you imagine a green dragon in a black mask with a black-and-white horizontal striped pullover, a brown bag marked “SWAG” over his shoulder? — as he tiptoes sneakily across the cover. The author’s name is small and centered at the top in a grayish brown while the series information is at the bottom in a big metallic green and below that is the smaller title in that same grayish brown.

The title focuses on this particular dragon, Grabber.