Title: The Tea Dragon Festival
Author: Katie O’Neill
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Publisher: Oni Press
Date published: September 17, 2019
Page Count: 347
Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn’s adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep, but Rinn’s real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost.
My first time reading Katie O’Neill was The Aquicorn Cove, and I fell in love with her work. Katie O’Neill is such a talented story teller. The artwork is stunning and the story and characters are so diverse. The novel takes place on a remote mountain place, and O’Neill’s attention to detail in fauna and flora completely immerses you into the pages. I could spend forever admiring the colors and illustrations in the book.
The book’s main character, Rinn, is a non-binary character and goes by they/them. Her uncles, Hesekiel and Erik, are an amazingly cute queer couple that I just loved learning about.
The story is so wholesome and lighthearted, but what I loved the most was the tight-knitted community. Everyone is so willing to help one another. Because one of the members in the community was born deaf, everyone in the village learned to use sign language. I learned quite a bit when reading the book. This is definitely a great resource for kids to learn ASL.
I didn’t read The Tea Dragon Society yet, but I had such a great time reading this! It’s such a whimsical and effortlessly inclusive story, and I loved every minute of it 🙂