Wednesday 27 October 2010

I Don’t Believe in Dragons

I Don’t Believe in Dragons written and illustrated by Anna Walker (Scholastic Press) 
HB RRP $24.99 
ISBN 9781741693423
Recommended for 1+ years
Reviewed by Dawn Meredith

Anna Walker captures the essence of childhood fantasy in this lovely book, where all the children are happy to believe there is a dragon at preschool, except for one little boy called Jack. “There’s no such thing as dragons!” says Jack. In a classic mise en scène, the dragon sits blithely playing in the sandpit with bucket and spade, while the children say, “I wonder where the dragon is?” and make a cardboard dragon with their teacher.

Ever the voice of reason and adult perspective, Jack states categorically that the feather Ned found belongs to a bird, not a dragon, that dragons do not fly. Meanwhile, the dragon is making tea in the kitchen and sharing a cupcake with teddy. Ben wonders if dragons snore, but Jack asserts that the snoring sound at naptime is coming from Emma, not a dragon. He can’t see the large orange spotted dragon snoozing in the corner on a pile of cushions. Back outside Sally insists she has found a dragon’s footprint, to which Jack derisively replies, “I don’t believe in dragons.” Finally the winged dragon appears to Jack in the playground, arms folded neatly, waiting for him to play football. Jack is speechless. On the final page Emma says, “I love dragons,” and Jack replies, “Me too,” as the dragon flies above them, clutching teddy.

I love the softness of Walker’s illustrations and the way she neatly infuses humour into each scene. The storyline is well thought out, paced and the ending is perfect. This story has a wistful, nostalgic feel to it and I’m sure adults reading it to their young children will smile and remember how they used to believe in magic flying dragons too.

Dawn Meredith writes from the Blue Mountains and was awarded a May Gibbs Fellowship in 2010,


  1. I love the sound of 'I don't believe in dragons.' I often wonder at the moment when all those 'I believes' of childhood turn into 'I don't believes'.

  2. Hi Janeen,

    Christmas is the time for believing in the all that is wonderful and magical in our world. It would be even more wonderful if it could last the whole year through.


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