All around the castle
The knight chased the dragon
The dragon thought it was all in fun
ROAR went the dragon!
Images of dragons can be found in almost every human culture, from prehistoric times to the present day, all around the world. Dragons come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours. There are almost as many different types of dragons as there are people to imagine them. Which makes this a great theme for children to imagine their own special dragon. This theme also lends itself to discussing other animals that have scales, other animals that hatch from eggs and other animals that can fly. It is also a wonderful introduction to the genre of fantasy.
There’s a lot to like about this humour filled picture book. From its brightly colourful illustrations to its fun story about a little boy and his attempt to dress his pet dragon, it is the perfect read-aloud. The adorable dragon in this story loves underwear, especially froggy superhero ones. He does not like shirts, but he does like capes. Shorts are preferable to pants because of his big feet and shoes can be tricky. He is very picky about hats and his favourite game is Dragon and Knight – as long as he can be the knight! This story is always successful at engaging and entertaining the children at Storytime.
In this delightful story about a girl with a big imagination and a love of dragons, there are dragons to be found in just about every corner of her house. She sees dragons in the pantry, the laundry, at the dinner table, in her dad’s workshop, her brother’s room, her parent’s room, and best of all in her own room. Of course, her parents don’t believe her, but what do parents know? The beautiful illustrations invite the reader to look for the hidden dragons throughout the pages. The various dragons are made up of all sorts of everyday household items. And as you will discover, dragons are everywhere – if you know where to look. I had the pleasure of meeting the talented author of this children’s book, Bruce Whatley, at The Literature Centre in Fremantle.
There are a series of books written by Paul Jennings about Ben’s pet dragon, Rascal. They all have simple text to encourage beginner readers, warmth and humour and bright, bold illustrations. In Rascal in Trouble, poor Rascal is not allowed to come inside, even though it is cold out. Ben pleads with his Dad to let Rascal come in. Ben’s dad says that if Ben can teach Rascal to beg, then he can come in. But Rascal doesn’t want to beg and he uses his tail to unlock the door. ‘Out you go,’ said Dad. Rascal finds other ways to come inside, but each time he is sent back out into the cold again. Until in the end it is Ben’s dad who does the begging and not Rascal – not ever. Parents enjoy this story just as much as the children.
A Rhyme or Two
Dragon, Dragon Turn Around
Dragon, dragon, turn around
Dragon, dragon, touch the ground
Dragon, dragon, fly up high
Dragon, dragon, touch the sky
Dragon, dragon, swing your tail
Dragon, dragon, shake your scales
Dragon, dragon, give a ROAR
Dragon, dragon, sit on the floor.
Happy dragon jumps 1,2,3,4
Angry dragon stomps loudly on the floor
Sad dragon sways 1,2,3,4
Excited dragon skips out of the door.
Let’s make a paperbag dragon puppet.
Draw or copy a dragon’s face, wings and tail onto some white card. I used the dragon template from the Create in the Chaos website. This template was whipped up by Ellen for her dragon loving sons. Colour in and then cut out the dragon’s face, wings and tail. Glue the face to the ‘box’ section of a box bottom paperbag. Glue the wing pieces to the back of the paperbag and the tail to the inside of the paperbag so that it is facing forward. Then cut some red and orange crepe paper into strips for the fiery flames. Glue or tape these to the under side of the box bottom, which will create the dragon’s mouth. You now have a fire breathing dragon puppet to play with.
Did you Know?
We often use puppets at Storytime. Puppets can be valuable educational tools, helping to stimulate children’s imaginations and encouraging creative play. They can be a powerful way of bringing Storytime to life. By providing a focus for role play, puppets can play a fundamental part in the recitation of stories and verse. Puppets offer an ideal springboard for developing speaking and listening skills. Through imaginative play, children come to understand the difference between fantasy and reality. When a child is engaged by a puppet they can learn lessons without even realising. Why not borrow some puppets from the library and create a family puppet show? Or you could design and make your own puppets.
And Remember: Reading for pleasure is the most important indicator of the future success of a child. Happy reading!