When a Dragon Comes to Stay
Caryl Hart and Rosalind Beardshaw
When a scaly creature turns up at number 124 with a shoulder bag it looks as though she’s there for the long haul. Perhaps though, she does need some guidance when it comes to good behaviour.
Snatching toys rather than sharing; breaking the rules in a supposed-to-be co-operative set-up; cheating and messy eating; all these need attending to; so its fortunate for this particular little dragon that she’s found some small, kind, friendly residents ready and willing to lead the way as positive role models:
‘And does she snatch and keep the toys / away from other girls and boys? //Why, no! / Dragons don’t do that! // A dragon knows she must play fair / And wait her turn and always share. / She knows the rules of all the games / and never argues or complains …’
Caryl cleverly alternates the undesirable with the desirable behaviours in a rhyming narrative that gently guides without preaching (in the same way, one hopes teachers/parents model what they hope to see rather than drawing attention to the misdemeanours of little ones).
And of course, allowances need to be made for nobody’s perfect, and certainly not little dragons.
I particularly like the sequence where the dragon’s messy eating is helped when she’s given a stable seat.
In her wonderfully expressive scenes of the adorable humans and their visitor, Ros. brings out the gentle humour in Caryl’s telling, showing how hard the little dragon is trying to behave appropriately.
Altogether a smashing book to share with little humans at home, or in an early years setting.
Toppsta have created some very useful reading records for schools: for further details follow the link.