Friday 8 January 2021

A Dragon in a Wagon

A Dragon in a Wagon by Lynley Dodd (Penguin Random House Australia) HB RRP $14.99 ISBN: 9780143775515 

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

Susie Fogg loves her dog, Sam. He never barks or bites, and the holes that he digs are not too big. But she wishes that he was a more exciting pet – like ‘a dragon in a wagon’, ‘a snake eating cake’ or even ‘a giraffe with a scarf’. As she is walking along, imagining a multitude of magnificent creatures, Susie trips over a log. It is not a dragon or a snake or a giraffe that comforts her – just the friendly doggy face of Sam.

Like Lynley Dodd’s Hairy Maclary series, this story focuses on a wealth of wonderful animal characters, from ‘a gnu with the ’flu’ to ‘a yak on his back’. The simple vocabulary suits new readers aged three to seven, while the riotous rhymes are sure to elicit a giggle or two – especially when they’re read aloud.

Lynley brings an array of amusing animals to life in her illustrations, adding just the right amount of detail so their personality pops from the page. The natural colour palette is soft and soothing, ensuring that the images work alongside rather than compete with the elementary text.

Young fans of Lynley’s playful tales will adore this new board book version of A Dragon in a Wagon, which is just the right size for little hands. It is sure to become a much-loved addition to any child’s library.

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