Remember Storytime when the teacher or librarian would hold out the book for everyone to see the brightly illustrated pages? And how after you learned to read yourself how you studied the illustrations in chapter books to see if they matched the images your imagination had created? By the time you reached middle school level reading you were lucky if there were illustrations at the beginning of each chapter and now the best you can hope for is a map or family tree lining the cover.
Don’t get me wrong. The fact that you have to use your imagination to picture the characters and the action is one of my favorite things about reading novels. But sometimes I miss being able to see how someone else pictures it. So it was a pleasant surprise to find beautifully drawn illustrations dispersed throughout Marie Brennan’s A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent. Todd Lockwood’s detailed drawings brought the story and Isabella’s character to life as much as Brennan’s humorous storytelling.