Strong

Strong
Clara Anganuzzi
Little Tiger

This lovely celebration of unashamedly being yourself stars a dragon named Maurice. No, he’s not tough, powerful and given to snarling and growling like his fellow dragons; far from it. Maurice is gentle, quiet and small, and an adorer of flowers. These he seeks out at every opportunity, fashioning them into wondrous floral arrangements. Other dragons have no time for such activities; they far prefer fire breathing and competitions of strength. Indeed Maurice has a brother that is a champion as these skills.

Now though, Maurice too is entering a dragons only contest and hoping to create some of his splendiferous hibiscus flowers. However that’s not what happens when it comes to his turn to throw a flame; nor does he impress with magnificent horns and ferocious teeth.

It’s no use, thinks a dejected Maurice as he lies down in the gentle rain, I just don’t fit in here.

As the storm clouds gather and it’s time for the competition’s final round – the gold treasure hunt – Maurice wants to delay, but brother Gruff is determined to defend his title immediately and off he soars into he clouds. However the storm continues to rage and the other dragons start to worry about Gruff’s failure to return. Maurice ponders and puts forward an idea. Can it possibly work though? To his fellow dragons, he doesn’t appear to be doing very much to help his injured sibling.

Finally however, they start to see Maurice in a completely new light and as for Maurice, he comes at last to a realisation about himself: he’s always been strong and his strength comes from being true to himself; delectably different and proud so to be.

Clara Anganuzzi’s portrayal of the changing feelings both of Maurice and the other dragons sweep readers along in the gentle dragon’s flight towards self understanding.