For the last three years, our six-year-old has regaled us with stories about his Dragon House, a mythical universe where anything and everything does happen. The only consistent factor has been that it is only inhabited by dragons and him. Therefore, as you can imagine, dragons figure large in our reading and it is a great theme for discovering stories from far away. This week we’ve pulled out Monkey and the Water Dragon, as Son Number One’s school topic at the moment is water… This retelling of an excerpt from the epic journey of Monkey, Pigsy and Tripitaka is written and illustrated by Joanna Troughton, and is one of Puffin’s “Folk Tales of the World” series (I think it’s time these were all pulled together and reprinted as an anthology – hint, hint!). The dragon is actually a baddy who turns out to be a “golden fish” with delusions of grandeur – but that doesn’t seem to bother my two. The dragon roars and the pictures leap from the page. That’s what matters!
Then there are stories like The Day the Dragon Danced by Kay Haugaard and illustrated by Carolyn Reed Barritt (Shen’s Books, 2006) which make my children long to join in a Chinese New Year procession; but we still haven’t read Mei Ming and the Dragon’s Daughter or The Dragon’s Pearl, which are both recommended by Andrea Ross in her Personal View for PaperTigers… (more…)