Julia Donaldson (text) & Axel Scheffler (illustrations)
(Alison Green Books, Scholastic)
Zog is a very studious little dragon wholikes to always try his best. So every time the dragon teacher, Madam Dragon, teaches his class a new skill, he is always very keen to practice. Unfortunately he is also very accident-prone. It is after one his tumbles that he meets a little girl who helps him out and becomes a friend. She always seems to be there when he needs him, first aid kit at the ready, and when in year four he has to practice capturing a princess he is has to abduct a princess, she turns out to be one, and is willingly taken by Zog! She ends up staying with the dragons, becoming their official doctor, so when a knight in shining armour makes an appearance to rescue her, she has no intention of leaving. But might the knight be able to help out with her biggest dream?
This is another great title for magic duo Donaldson and Scheffler. I wasn’t particularly taken by Tabby McTat, their last offering, which I thought was not as good as their previous stuff, and it is great to see them back on form. Donaldson’s rhyming text is as jovial as ever. It rolls off the tongue, and is a real pleasure to read out loud. It is works in perfect unison with Scheffler’s distinctive drawings. Together they have created a world that is so recognisable, I don’t think there is anything quite the same in children’s literature today.
Zog is a great story about dragons and will undoubtedly appeal to all the little dragon fans out there. There is some counting involved, always a good extra for preschooler books and good role modelling from Zog about always trying your best, even if at first you don’t succeed. But the princess steals the show for me; what a great role model! What a great antidote for all those pinky-fluffy books the market for preschool and primary girls are inundated with! A princess who refuses to be rescued, to go back to her castle because she doesn’t fancy “prancing round the palace in a silly frilly dress”, and who would rather go and save the world and be a flying doctor … that’s the kind of princess I want my daughter to look up to!
So it’s another classic from this gem of a duo.
Sent for review by Scholastic.