Dragon Post

I’ve mentioned before how much I loved stories about dragons as a child, (ok, both my mum and I still do). I also LOVE post – real, through the letterbox, not a bill type post – my friend and I even started sending each other letters because it’s so nice to receive one!

So when I received this book from. Walker (thank you 😊) I was beyond excited…

With ‘real’ letters to open and read; a warm and funny storyline; characterful, expressive illustrations; and, of course, an incredibly loveable dragon (who just can’t help the trouble he’s causing!) this is such a wonderful book.

The main story and illustrations are simply told and engaging with a visual humour that will appeal to everyone, from the very young up.

Meanwhile the letters are longer, more detailed and contain more sophisticated sentences, word play and humour – ideal for older readers who still love picture books (who doesn’t?!)

There is so much to love about this book and its perfect for poring over together at home, but I suspect will be equally popular in the classroom – there is SO MUCH you can do with this book. From instructions for looking after unusual pets to all kinds of letter writing to editing for mistakes, not to mention the animal welfare/habitat tangent you could take, or the wealth of exciting dragon activities that would tie in with it.

One of my favourite picture books of recent months – I loved it!

Here be dragons…

When I was little I loved stories about dragons, notably Margaret Greaves’ ‘Charlie, Emma and the Dragon…’ series and June Counsell’s ‘Dragon in Class 4 series’.

*For the record: this was taken on holiday and that snazzy 80’s bedding wasn’t mine!*

done (174)

I wrote story after story about them too – as evidenced by one of my earliest, more gruesome tales below…!

dragon

Thanks to fairytale and legend, dragons possess a mystery, magic wildness, which along with their supposed size, scales, fire, flight and non-existence make them ideal for stories of all kinds. Typically cast as the villains in fairy-tales, (incidentally see There Is No Dragon in This Story by Lou Carter which deserves and will get a review of its own at some point, but which in short is a fab and refreshing take on the dragon-as-bad-guy-in-fairy-tales picture book featuring all our best-loved fairy tale characters) or old, wise, usually dangerous types in fantasy adventures, they are also absolutely perfect for younger children’s chaos-ensues-when… type chapter books. Which brings us nicely to today’s book:

9781848126497

“When Tomas discovers a strange, old tree at the bottom of his grandpa’s garden, he doesn’t think much of it. But he takes the funny fruit from the tree back into the house – and gets the shock of his life when a tiny dragon hatches! The tree is a dragonfruit tree, and Tomas has just got his very own dragon, Flicker. Tomas soon finds out that life with Flicker is great fun, but also very…unpredictable!”

Following in the footsteps of some of the aforementioned dragon-ish chapter books I read and loved as a child, this has all the hallmarks of a great younger read: familiar settings of school and home; characters who are recognisable (family members and friends, with that not-very-nice school ‘bully’ and grouchy next-door neighbour for balance) and most importantly – that chaos I was talking about earlier!

Imagine the uproar a dragon could cause, especially one you’re trying to hide, and especially when you know they have exploding poo, a tendency to fly off and flame-breathing skills they’ve yet to master!

Combine the two and it makes for a riot of a read: familiar scenarios are turned into hilariously sticky situations by the appearance of a flame or poo or two (flying books, kitchen carnage, scorched shorts) and that’s when there’s only one dragon! Luckily for his friends, who also want a dragon (quite frankly, who wouldn’t?!), more dragonfruit start appearing on the tree, but if one dragon causes this much trouble, what will happen if more hatch…?!

A brilliant start to what promises to be a fantastic new series for younger readers. Sara Ogilvie’s illustrations are fresh, lively and more than up to the job of capturing the warmth, havoc and humour of the text. Recommended for fellow dragon-lovers everywhere!