Title: The Tea Dragon Festival (Tea Dragon #2)
Author: Katie O'Neill
Genre: MG Graphic Novel
Length: 140 pages
Publisher: Oni Press
Publish Date: September 17, 2019
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Recommend: HECK YES!
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Seriously this was the cutest story and graphic novel I’ve read this year! O’Neill is an amazing artist and storyteller. I absolutely loved the art that went into this story. I loved seeing the world she created and the characters that I fell in love with almost immediately. I also appreciated that she included sign language in her novel, and explained the different text bubbles to distinguish it.
Another thing that I noticed was that the main character Rinn went by pronouns they/them, and everyone was respectful of it and didn’t make a big deal about it! I remember a part in it where Rinn asked their new friend about if dragons usually switch forms between male and female, and knowing that they were okay enough with who they are to ask that question, and that their friend was able to understand and answer that yes, dragons do often switch, was just so great to the story. Little moments like that are what I feel is important when showing diversity in the world.
I also loved the personalities of the little tea dragons. Definitely different from our main dragon friend that Rinn meets in the novel. There’s this one tea dragon that always has a scowl on its face, and it’s the cutest face ever. The villagers have learned how to live peacefully with these dragons (even though they are “pests” sometimes!) and this world was just so magical and wonderful that I would love to visit it again.
I still need to finish the first one (I’ll have to find it somewhere in the meantime), and when this one comes out, I want a physical copy for my house. I think everyone should read this. It was such a nice and light story that will make anyone’s day.