An amusing book that younger children will enjoy, but it would also be fun for adults to aloud with different voices!
Emma Yarlett has written a heart-warming story about a young boy called Alex who has found a dragon living under the stairs and decides to keep it. But how do you look after a dragon? What does a dragon eat? How do you stop it from burning down your house? Does a dragon make too much noise?
Alex needs help, so he writes to various people for answers to his questions: the fire brigade and the butcher among others. Children are able to open five envelopes containing letters along the way. Some contain the answers to Alex’s questions.
The colourful illustrations are clever in that they have just enough interesting detail to keep a younger child interested but not too busy that they miss the point. The dragon is a bright red colour and he and Alex have a lovely time as they navigate their new relationship.
This book is written in the first person, and each letter is enclosed in a different envelope pertaining to the author of the letter, so the reader has the joy of “opening” the envelope to read it.
Having letters for the child to read is not new to children’s literature, but these letters are quite enjoyable because of their quirkiness. There is subtle humour throughout the book, especially in the letters.
This book can also lead to discussions about what animal would make a good pet and what is needed to look after one. Is there more to it than just playing with them?
This is an amusing book that younger children will really enjoy, especially the early readers who will be able to read the letters by themselves – although it would also be fun for adults to read them aloud to the child using different voices!
An enjoyable read.
Reviewed by Sue Mauger
Distributed by: Walker Books Australia
Released: October 2018