Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book one hundred and seventy-two

When I was still very young my father read me the story of The Reluctant Dragon, and I have loved dragon stories every since. I even have a collection of stuffed dragons in my office.

Many of the dragon stories I have read involves humans finding ways to trick dragons into giving up their treasure, or humans finding ways to get rid of pesky dragons. Some stories, like the one in today's book, are about humans finding ways to convince dragons not to eat them. Thankfully, the boy in today's story is a very intelligent fellow who understand that the way to a dragon's heart is through its stomach.

Ute Krause
Picture book
For ages 5 to 7
NorthSouth, 2010, 978-0-7358-2306-8
One day the great dragon wakes up and he is very hungry. He has not eaten anything in a very long time and he wants to dine on a tasty princess. Unfortunately, there are no princesses available so the people in the village decide that one of the children will have to do, and unfortunately for Oscar, he is the child whose name is picked out of the hat.
   Oscar goes up to the dragon’s lair and he manages to convince the dragon that it is not worth eating him now. The dragon should fatten Oscar up first. Oscar writes out a long shopping list and he orders a fancy stove, and then he proceeds to cook up the most delicious meals. The ravenous dragon’s mouth waters when he smells the food, but he refuses to eat any of it. It is human food after all and “Dragons don’t eat stupid human food.”
   Day after day passes and the dragon gets hungrier and hungrier. Oscar’s cooking becomes better and better and the dragon is driven to distraction by the scrumptious smells. Finally, the dragon condescends to eat some “leftovers” and he is amazed to discover that Oscar’s food tastes better than a princess. A lot better. Is Oscar’s food going to convince the dragon to stop eating humans altogether?
   This delightful picture book will charm dragon fans of all ages. It combines humor, colorful characters, and an unusual food-centric story to give readers a memorable bookish experience. 

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