Where is the Dragon?

Where is the Dragon?
Leo Timmers
Gecko Press

Oh dear me! The king is having dreadful dragon nightmares, so much so that he’s scared to got to bed. He dispatches his three trusty knights, One, Two and Three out into the dark night to save the realm, and more crucially, him.

The three have a slight problem however, they’ve never actually set eyes on a dragon, although the king has given them a few clues as to what such a creature might be like. As they venture forth Knight One and Knight Two take turns to share snippets of information, each of which seemingly appears in shadowy form. Then when Knight Three (the small one) illuminates the scene, something completely other is revealed. In the first instance it’s a harmless group of long-eared rabbits munching on carrots.

However Knight Two then drops in ‘Well the king alleged their teeth aren’t used for fruit and veg!”

but again Knight Three shines his trusty candle.

Knight One’s third comment talks of long necks and flaring nostrils as they approach another dark dragon-like form, and so it continues with each silhouette being a close fit for the king’s description and the revelation being something innocuous and wonderfully daft.

What about the last shape though? Following another tumble, all three knights are ready to return and inform his highness that there’s no such thing as dragons.

No cause for alarm at all. But are they correct? I wonder …

Translated from the original Dutch by James Brown, the rhyming text has an occasional blip, but for me it’s the illustrations with the superb characters, skillful use of dark and light, clever details (small and large), textures and rich colour palette, that are the real show stealers. Zimmers has a wacky sense of humour that is evident at every page turn, especially the final one.

Little ones will relish this as a storytime read aloud, delighting both in guessing and knowing. Ensure you give your audience time to look closely at the revelatory spreads so they can appreciate Zimmers’ transformations of the imagined into the real.

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