Wednesday, 24 April 2019

The Book Dragon by Kell Andrews - April Book of the Month

I am a book fiend so a book that actually has the word book in it's title is guaranteed to catch my eye and that's just what Kell Andrew's latest picture book, The Book Dragon did. And let me tell you straight away, I was right to be drawn to it as my youngest daughter has already fallen in love with the pictures and words held inside.

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The town of Lesser Scrump has one rule: no books allowed!

Words can be scrawled on bark or scraped in dust, but never written in pen and ink on paper.

When young Rosehilda wonders why, her grandfather explains that a fearsome dragon snatches away books at night to add to her massive hoard. But Rosehilda decides she isn't afraid of the dragon and vows to challenge the creature that has been terrorizing her village. Will she be able to convince the dragon that books are for reading, not hoarding?

There has been a big focus in the school I work in for reading for pleasure, not just because we are told to. Now the first sentence in The Book Dragon shows that this sort of freedom has been taken away from the children of Lesser Scrump. Words hard to read from barks of trees and crumbling slate as they are scrawled using materials such as rock and charcoal.

Straight away, this is a good talking point. You can have a discussion about what you might use as tools to write letters and words if we didn't have pens, pencils and papers available.

The children aren't gifted with books to take away and read at their leisure and the idea of using paper and ink to create such stories was horrific to most, that was something could never be put into practice, let alone talked about. But the question is why?


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And that's when the legend of The Book Dragon is revealed.

"She'll snatch your books in the middle of the night to add to her hoard. But a brave young Rosehilda is out to prove that books are for reading, not hoarding."

I couldn't imagine a world without books so when Rosehilda asks her grandfather what a book is, it was unsurprising when my own child replied with the words, "how can she not know what a book is." Although I will also admit that with my own love of books, I can see why that treacherous dragon would want to keep collect so many (I myself prefer to share.)

Rosehilda, who is a determined young child, wants to change all that and wants to show everyone that they needn't be afraid of the book hoarding dragon.

As the story continues we begin to learn a few things about both Rosehilda and the (purple) dragon,  who can be found laying on an enormous pile of books hidden within a dark, scary cave way up on Scrump Mountain.


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Now I won't spoil the ending for you but I'd like to think that you will be pleasantly surprised.

'The hoard was heaped with books in every colour and size. Many were red, stamped with gold."

The Book Dragon is an endearing book, showcasing the power books can hold and just how important they are to everyone, books don't discriminate and funnily enough a good saying to go alongside with this story is that you really can't judge a book by it's cover.

In my opinion this would make a great tale for reluctant readers, to show that books really are for anyone and everyone.

Is it time for you to meet The Book Dragon?

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