Monday, 20 May 2013

More Dragon Books

Jin Jin and the Rain Wizard:
After reading the first Jin Jin, we just had to have the second. This one is as lovely as the first. In this story Jin Jin loses the power to breathe water after throwing rice away. He learns that food should not be wasted, as many people suffer without enough to eat, but he also learns that you can correct a mistake with enough effort. This is another beautiful story that combines Chinese Folklore with a mother's loving stories to her own child, illustrated just a beautifully by her brother. It gives some information on Chinese characters as well, and teaches something of Chinese history and culture, so this is very much a book that educates as it entertains.

 The Pet Dragon;
This book does set out to teach children Chinese characters, but as educational as it is, it is even more entertaining. It tells a lovely story of the friendship between a girl a very tiny red dragon - who doesn't stay tiny for long. Like most Eastern stories, there is some moral to this as well. The girl is kind and helpful to an elderly woman and this kindness is returned.

Tralfagar True: Another Stepehn Cosgrove story with a beautiful and gentle blue and purple dragon who teaches the furry kith and kin the meaning of friendship and the importance of sharing.

 The cover of this book is the first that thing that will draw any reader in, and it is beautiful. The paper is thick and smooth and printed to look like a red leather covering, with a circle in the middle which displays a lovely illustration of a dragon in flight. This circle is surrounded by three glass gemstones and text both in English and the language of the dragons. Encircling this illustration is a stunning red dragon embossed into the cover. This dragon is raised, so that children can run their fingers over it, feeling the dragon, or lay a paper across it and make a rubbing. Best of all though, it is made of a foil type material, which if tilted toward the light right will reflect a flame like glow. Finally we have a Celtic design in another circle like a great seal. The overall impression is magical and well suited to this book.

Inside the book we find several pages telling us all about dragons. The first set mentions other animals once thought to be myths that are now known to be real. There is a scientific explanation of how dragons fly and breathe fire, involving methane gas, a map of the world with locations of dragons, detailed descriptions of various types of dragons, the life cycle of dragons, their natural history and behaviour. After this we receive all sorts of advice for the study of dragons and finally a history of dragonologists and dragon slayers. the entire book is presented in a journal like format, meant to be the records of a dragonologist, Ernest Drake.
 Full review @ dooyoo

Dragonology Pocket Adventures:
Four short choose your own adventures perfect for younger readers. We finished each of these in one night. They are illustrated and teach just a little bit of geography as well.

Dragonology Chronicles
A series of longer chapter books with two children studying as apprentices for dragonologist Dr Drake. Black and white illustrations, easy to read, and lovely stories.

Dragon Stew:
 Dragon stew is about a very polite red dragon, and four very rude Vikings with nothing to do. The Vikings decide that capturing a dragon might be fun, they could tie him up and cart him home and cook up dragon stew.  They know they are in the right place when they find a gigantic pile of dragon poo. The Vikings find the dragon, who politely greets them and asks them if they would like something to eat, but the only thing the nasty Vikings want is a pot of dragon stew.

This is a very short story with a lovely rhyming text and a real pleasure to read aloud. Rhyming text or Nursery rhymes are considered to be a key part in emergent literacy, and believe it or not, this process starts as young as 6 months of age. Reading to your child from a very early age is the very best thing you can do to help them become readers later, but rhyming books are especially important for children who are not yet reading. Rhyming text is also far more difficult to write well, and many books rhyme, but fall short in the story, and just because it rhymes does not mean it will necessarily have a good cadence as well. This has an excellent story for little ones, as well as a wonderful cadence and rhyme.

The illustrations are top notch as well. They are somewhat carton like, but bright and colourful enough to entice even a very young child, and very, very funny. My son usually prefers longer stories now, but I am well pleased that he really enjoys this as well, as at age 4, he is not reading yet. I would highly recommend this, from ages 6 months or even younger ( I read to my children before they were even born). This is a book for sharing with a child though, by the time a child is old enough to read this on their own, I feel they will most likely have outgrown the story. There is nothing in this book that I feel would upset or frighten even the youngest child.

Full review @ dooyoo

Where Did All the Dragons Go:
 ' Where Did all The Dragons Go ' is, as the title suggest about what happened to the dragons long ago. Every part of the world has ancient tales of dragon like beasts, but of course none are alive today, so if you choose to believe they once were real - where have they gone? This book is for every child who asked this question. This book tells of a time long ago, when dragons shared the earth with man. The children loved the dragons and often joined in their games, but the adults could not understand the powerful creatures and feared them. The time came when the dragons knew they must leave to find their own place. they joined into a great flock and flew away, to a place unknown, but perhaps some trace remains. When the clouds grow black as smoke, and the fire of lightning can be seen, you just my hear the dragons roar again. Beautifully illustrated, rhyming text.
Full review @ dooyoo

The Dragon Snatcher:
George's dragon comes home but he needs help. An evil wizard is stealing all the dragons eggs to cast a spell to banish dragons from their home forever. Can George find the last egg in time?

Too Hot to Hug:
Lovely story about a baby dragon whose warmth is lovely at first - but he soon becomes too hot to hug. Beautiful pictures and a happy ending.

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