Book: ‘Tell Me a Dragon’

‘Tell Me a Dragon’

Jackie Morris

(15 pages, children’s picture book, 2009)

This fantasy picture book leans heavily on Welsh author-illustrator Jackie Morris’ exquisite illustrations–with good reason. With sparse, poetic text, Morris imagines a world in which every person has a companion dragon. (Humans don’t “own” dragons, per se — as we learn in the concluding appendix. They are said, however, to form strong bonds with individuals and even families, which can endure for thousands of years).

On every page, a person (usually a child) describes the most salient features of their personal dragon in just a line or two. (Examples: “My dragon is as big as a village, jade-winged and amber-eyed with a tail as long as a river,” and “My dragon is an ice dragon. His breath is snowflakes.”) The repetition of the phrase my dragon on each page is great for young readers, and helps to set a rhythm for speaking the lines aloud. It also opens a door to discussion at the end of the story, as readers can turn to one another and ask, “What is YOUR dragon like?” then take turns describing their own imagined creatures.

What this book lacks in storyline, it more than makes up for in visual impact. The stunning illustrations include tons of rich detail and really embody the story’s fantastical subject matter. I could spend several minutes dwelling on each page, just taking in Morris’ dreamy colors, intricate backgrounds, and gorgeous renderings of the natural world. The humans depicted come from a variety of backgrounds and seem to live all over the world, from the arid deserts of the Near East to “urban jungles” of high-rise apartments. Finally, a concluding section of “Field notes and observations on the lives and habitats of dragons” provides an introduction to global dragon lore and mythology, for those who may be interested in learning a bit more.


Faithe Miller Lakowicz

Concord Public Library

Author: Insider Staff

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Newspaper Family Includes:

Copyright 2021 The Concord Insider - Privacy Policy - Copyright