Fletcher and the Stars / The Winter Dragon

Fletcher and the Stars
Julia Rawlinson and Tiphanie Beeke

The fourth Fletcher story in the Four Seasons series is a wonderful wintry one.

One chilly night as Fletcher sits at the entrance to his den gazing up at the glittering stars, they begin to disappear. Concerned, he calls to tell his Mum but she assures him that they are just covered by cloud. However, he remains worried and can’t sleep. Instead he creeps out, determined to save the stars and before long he hears a snuffling sound. It’s a badger cub that says she’s afraid of the dark and is hiding till the stars return. Encouraged by Fletcher, Badger climbs onto his shoulders and twiggy branch in paw begins swish sweeping across the sky, but of shining stars there is no sign.
Next they try from up among the branches of a tree. That only succeeds in waking sleeping Squirrel; Squirrel offers to use his tail but to no avail. Can Owl sweep away those clouds?

The others wait snuggled up in a hollow in Owl’s tree and eventually fall asleep. When Owl returns having tried her best, Fletcher is down hearted at her news. But then at least Badger has some good news: she’s no longer afraid of the dark. Fletcher and Badger then tuck Owl into her tree once more and depart in the hope that by the time she wakes, their mission to reveal those stars again will have been successful.

Up the windy hill they climb and begin to puff. I wonder what will happen …

It’s a delight to be back in the company of Fletcher with his determination, consideration for his friends and passion for the natural world. Tiphanie Beeke’s gorgeous illustrations, glow even brighter than ever in this story as they evoke so well the icy winter’s night and the feelings of the animal friends. What a perfect match for Julia Rawlinson’s equally evocative, poetic text. Snuggle up and share this with young children at home or in school.

The Winter Dragon
Caroline Pitcher and Sophy Williams

Young Rory hates the long dark winter nights imagining them to be the time when hidden demons lurking in the shadows come creeping out. But Rory has recently made a model dragon from his craft materials and one night as he cowers beneath the bedcovers he hears a strange growling sound.
Peeping out cautiously he finds his dragon glowing like a nightlight, keeping away the dark and using its hot breath to warm his bed and his slippers and his bathwater.

Each night the dragon returns to warm him with tales of bravery with blazing fires, jewels hidden beneath the earth, elf kings, knights and dragons. With every visit Rory and the Winter Dragon together ‘banish the demons of the dark’ enabling the boy, his heart filled with the dragon’s stories, to sleep soundly, unafraid.

With the coming of Spring, Rory knows in his heart that it’s time for him and his dragon to bid one another farewell and one night safe in the knowledge that his friend will always be there should Rory need him, he watches the dragon leave, bound once again for his own world again.

With a gentle sprinkling of fantasy, Caroline Pitcher ’s lyrical telling combined with Sophy Williams’ soft focus, realistic illustrations highlight one little boy’s battle with his fears and his growing courage.

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