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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
The Wise Old Woman advises Wynnie to get rid of the mysterious egg she finds on the castle wall – before it’s too late. But Wynnie wants to keep the egg and the baby dragon the Wise Old Woman tells her grows inside. It’s too late and the egg falls off the wall and cracks open, releasing the baby dragon, which instantly breathes fire and causes mischief. Everyone but Wynnie wants the dragon gone. Even the king insists she must get rid of the dragon. Wynnie has already named the dragon Mera and insists, with a little training, the dragon’s fire can be controlled. A little training, a little love, and a whole lot of patience. Is she right?
Louis Wickstrom’s picture book story, Can I Keep Her?, is the second book in the Kingdom of Mir series. The plot follows Wynnie and her brother Lem’s adventure from discovering a strange egg to its hatching. Wynnie is the protagonist, a strong female character who loves all creatures, even the fire-breathing baby dragon. She presents a good argument when the king insists she gets rid of the baby dragon which has already set fire to part of the castle: “Do you want the dragon to be your friend or your enemy?” She presents a good argument and proves her point by starting work immediately on training the baby dragon and, most important, showing it love. All creatures need love. Even the Wise Old Woman, who ran away when the fire-breathing baby dragon hatched, is impressed and returns to pet the dragon and show some love. A beautiful, heart-warming story, told with charming, colorful illustrations.