By Russell, James
The Pitbull is furious. His evil plans to capture the dragons on Flynn and Paddy's paradise island have come to nothing. And now his niece, Briar, has joined forces with the brothers. As he musters his men and machines for a final attempt, a devastating natural disaster strikes w...hich completely changes the game - perhaps forever. This is the fourth junior novel in the best-selling Dragon Defenders series. It incorporates 'augmented reality', bring the fictional world to stunning 3D life!Read more
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Russell, James (1972 - ) is a best-selling children's author. For over twelve years he worked as a journalist, columnist and editor, including for the New Zealand Herald. He is now a full-time Auckland-based writer, and father of two sons. Russell is also a book reviewer on the Jesse Mulligan Afternoons on National Radio. Born and raised in Hamilton, Russell studied at the University of Otago before moving to Auckland to work as a journalist. Commuting on the train during a particularly damp month, Russell decided to write down some of the stories he had been telling his two young boys. Inspired by the enthusiastic reaction of his sons, Russell developed his stories into the Dragon Brothers Trilogy, a series for 3-7 year olds. Teaming up with Auckland-based illustrator and artist Link Choi, Russell made his first children's picture book The Dragon Hunters in 2012. The story of brothers Flynn and Paddy, their dog Coco, and their dragon captured hearts across New Zealand. The Dragon Hunters was a finalist in the LIANZA Russell Clark Illustration Awards in 2013. The judges praised the `gorgeous and foreboding' imagery and the inventive layout. In 2013 the sequel, The Dragon Tamers, was released. Swings and Roundabouts magazine compared the book to Margaret Mahy's There's a Lion in the Meadow, a book which `will appeal to all those who seek adventure.' A reviewer in Women's Weekly reviewed the story as a one of `creative rhymes and beautiful imagery.' Doris Mousdale reviewed the book on 19 December 2013 as a `perfectly-pitched' tale of adventure. The last in the trilogy, The Dragon Riders, was published in 2014. Novelist Nicky Pellegrino reviewed the book as `a charming picture book for young children' with `lots of actions and a poignant finish.' With `stunning' illustrations and a `wonderful story' Christine Frayling in The Reader described The Dragon Riders as `a joy to read out loud.' The three rhyming-verse stories became a bestselling trilogy. In a New Zealand first, Russell developed an augmented reality (AR) app to accompany his books. The AR app allows readers to hover their smart device above the page and see dragons and volcanoes come to life before their eyes - in a three dimensional magical map of Flynn and Paddy's world. In 2016, after becoming a full-time writer, Russell travelled to Italy to attend the Bologna Book Fair in search of a global publisher. It was a fateful trip, as his Dragon Brothers series was then published in China, the US, Canada and the UK. The trilogy was published by Sourcebooks, and will also be published by China Youth Press. Russell completed a seven-city book tour of bookstores and schools in the US in 2017. The Dragon Defenders series was the #1 children's novel by a Kiwi author on the celebrated Whitcoulls Kids Top 50 in 2018.
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