Steve Smallman (text) & Lee Wildish (illustrations)
(Little Tiger Press)
Five bored Vikings went out hiking,
Looking for an adventure. something bold and new.
So they they’d hunt a dragon.
and then tie it to their wagon,
Take it home and chop it up to make
a dragon stew!
On the way our rather clueless vikings meet a sort-of kraken and a gigantic killer whale. But nothing quite prepares them for the dragon, once they finally meet him!
The funny, rhyming text of this book is very well complimented by the quirky illustration, which offer great detail and will keep audiences enthralled for quite a while. I could not stop laughing when my daughter said she loved Loggi Longsocks’ bright lipstick; she had totally failed to notice that she was missing a tooth too!
The dragon himself is an absolute hoot, so British, so dainty (I never thought I’d say that about a dragon!).
The surprising end will have young audiences in fits of laughter too. This is a great book for read-aloud; the text is quite long but the rhyming structure is such that the text is active enough that younger children will not get bored. And it has all the ingredients to keep them enthralled: squelchy bogs, smelly socks, dragon poo, and all sorts of funny-looking beasts. Perfect!
I think that the addition of a female viking was very clever too, preventing the book from being “shelved” as story for boys only. In fact it looks like that out of that lot, Yop is the one with the most gumption (or am I just being biased here?), so a bit of girl power there too!
A fun read!