by John Foster
illustrated byKorky Paul
ISBN (PB) 0192761080
ISBN(HB) 0192761080
Oxford University Press

shopping basket Hardback


Dragons in pet shops, chasing teachers,
going to the vet, toasting your bread,
playing the banjo, fast asleep, fighting
knights, having birthdays, flying and feasting and fighting.

Purple dragons, fiery dragons, lonely
dragons, cross-eyed dragons, ice dragons
and, finally, the last dragon.

Here's a collection of poems about every kind of dragon you can think of - and some you'd sooner not think of.

DRAGON POEMS are superbly illustrated and contain a variety of poems, some humorous, some scary, some extremely sad, as in ŒThe last dragon':-

'At last a low moan
Where there once was a roar
The last of the dragons
Is breathing no more'.

There is a wealth of detail in the illustrations, and children will find something new each time they look at this book. I was pleased to see people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds depicted in the illustrations. This book is exceptional value.

Good children's poetry books are always hard to find and this book will thankfully fatten that section of the bookshelf. It is a collection of 23 poems about dragons, ranging from bizarre to hilarious. The poems have toe-tapping rhythm to urge the reader on the next for more laughs. The comical caricatures live up to the lively poetry.

Did you ever see a dragon playing a banjo? Or chasing teachers? Or lighting all the candles on his birthday cake in one blow to get his wish? How about a purple dragon? Ever seen one? Or a cross-eyed dragon? Have you ever heard about The Last Dragon? John Foster has gathered all of the poems he could find about these mysterious, scary, funny, and entirely mythical creatures and packed them into one irreverent, sometimes book-curdling, sometimes downright silly book of poems wonderfully illustrated by Korky Paul. Highly recommended!
CHILDREN'S BOOKWATCH Newsletter of The Midwest Book Review MAY 92

A super collection of dragons can be found on the colorful pages of this, another excellent book of poems. Children will enjoy the silly verses and humorous themes.

Imagine their delight as they read The Pet. A mother gives her child some money to buy a treat as long as it isn't candy. Wandering around the shops, nothing appeals to the youngster until a pet store lures him in.

The happy shopper departs, holding the lead of a fire-breathing, slimy, green, scale-covered pet. In the last verse, the child wonders what mom will say - I suspect she would have preferred candy.

Children will enjoy the action-packed, humorous and detailed illustrations.

You'll have lots of fun and everyone will be chuckling out loud sharing these poems.

Some writers, like Prelutsky and David Harmer, like to envisage dragons as comically destructive or invincible creatures; others, like Julie Holder, link the fabulous animals with humans by emotional ties; to Irene Tawnsley and Eric Finney they have a mythical aura. As for Korky Paul's scrawly, grotesque illustrations, they tend most of the time towards the bizarre, both in the sharpness of colour and in bold humanisation of dragon Œfaces', but now and then (for instance, in a picture for Judith Nicholl's ŒDragonbirth') his elaborate scene has a delicate poetic quality of its own. Whatever the young look for in poetry, this thematic collection should be popular.

This wonderful anthology of poems about dragons is superbly illustrated. All the poems are recently written and the contributors include many modern favourites; for example, jack Prelutsky, Colin West and William Jay Smith.

These are modern dragons too: scarcely a wicked one in sight. The first poem, ŒHappy Birthday, dear dragon', by Jack Prelutsky, sets the tone:

There were rumbles of strange jubilation
in a dark subterranean lair,
for the dragon was having a birthday,
and his colleagues were gathering there.

The dragon has a cake with a difference: when he blows on his candles, they light up.

The dragons are good guys appearing in all kinds of roles: dragon as toaster or barbecue, dragon as ghost, dragons at school, and dragons as babies. Some are funny, some are sad, all are immensely readable. We learn that dragons do not make good pets as they need Œtwenty LARGE meals daily'. Each poem is complemented by its own illustration to match the mood of the poem. The pictures are lively, colourful and contain lots of detail. Besides the omnipresent dragons (and spiders) there are witches, trolls, goblins and overflowing chests of jewels to delight the reader. This book is highly recommended. It will appeal to a wide age group and would make an excellent present.