There Is NO Dragon In This Story
32pp., pbk., RRP $A12.99
Most stories about dragons have the dragon capturing a princess and fighting the brave knight who comes to save her. But that’s not what this story is about because the dragon has gone off in a huff in search of a story where he is the hero not the villain.
But each time he enters a story – The Gingerbread Man, The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red riding Hood – he is told the same thing. “No! There are no dragons in this story!”
And then he spies a boy climbing a beanstalk. But just as Jack tells him the same thing, the giant captures the dragon and suddenly the dragon doesn’t want to be in the story! But just as he seems doomed, the giant sneezes and blows out the sun… Can the dragon be a hero at last?
This is a charming, colorful romp through a lot of childhood favourites that young children will delight in recalling and discussing the various forms the villain takes if it is not a dragon. They will connect with characters and settings they know while the left-to-right direction of print is emphasised with the vivid and clever illustrations. Older children can venture down the path of learning about stereotypes and how preconceived notions can lead to unfounded expectations, perhaps even starting to gather a collection of stories where the stereotype is challenged and then starting to examine their own prejudices.
Quality stories always have lots of layers to suit lots of readers – this is one of those.