Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blogging for Books book review: 'The Dragon and the Turtle' by Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark

Publishers' Book Description:
Friends come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Sometimes they’re even dragons.

 Roger loves adventure. Today he’s playing pirate, sailing the high seas, dancing to the hornpipe, and catching fish. But the wind’s blown him off course and he’s . . . well . . . lost.

When Padraig, a kitten-sized, bug-eating dragon, encounters the lost turtle, he offers to help Roger find his way home. Roger’s directions take some time to follow—his house looks brown, sounds like singing, smells like baking, feels like sand, and tastes like strawberries—and along the way, Roger and Padraig become friends. And friendship always yields unexpected rewards. Like cookies.

I know, I know... I said I'd have this up yesterday. We had sick germs in our house. Those little beasts are not conducive to writing book reviews. I apologize for my tardiness, though. Without further adieu, the review (see how I get all fancy and rhyme when I feel bad?)

 I love, love, love this book. It's without question a total winner. It's written by Donita K. Paul - who wrote 'Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball', which I reviewed here - and her daughter, Evangeline Denmark, and it's illustrated by Vincent Nguyen.

Roger is a turtle who loves to imagine that he's a pirate (which is a common playtime theme with my son as well). He has all sorts of adventures in his little fantasy land, but on this particular day Roger realizes that he is lost. He's feeling a little nervous when who should show up but a small, bug-eating dragon named Padraig.

Padraig - kind, self-sacrificing dragon that he is - offers to help Roger find his house since he can fly up high and therefore cover ground (sky?) more quickly. Rogers' descriptions of home take some figuring out. His house looks brown, sounds like singing, smells like baking, feels like sand, and tastes like strawberries. Through much trial and error - and great patience and compassion - they finally find Rogers home. Once there, they are treated to a plateful of Chocolate Chip Snappers (which every pirate needs after a day of sailing the High Seas).

This book had so many wonderful teaching aspects that it's hard to know where to begin... You have character traits - patience, compassion, self-sacrifice, kindness, respect. You have the five senses - look, sound, smell, feel, taste. You could also use it to teach your child how they would describe their home to a stranger if they were lost, which is something they may not think about.

The illustrations are lovely. The characters look warm, friendly and happy. You don't see many dragons that look sweet! The pictures are somewhat fairy-tale like and the colors are rich, warm and comfortable. They were a perfect reflection of the sweet story.

My son loves this story. We've read it at least a dozen times over the last few weeks and he's dying to make the Chocolate Chip Snappers recipe in the back of the book (though we'll have to do some tweaking since it's obviously not a gluten free recipe). He also saw me looking at the next book by Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark - 'The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari' - and is begging me to get it for him.

Two thumbs WAY up. Publishers' age recommendation is 4-8 and I'd agree with that. My 3 1/2 year old loves the book, but there are some subtleties that are lost on him so far. You can purchase it here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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