Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame, Lesley Sims and Fred Blunt (Usborne Publishing Ltd)

What steps do you take if you're ever chased by a dragon? Very big steps - preferably in the opposite direction! Unless of course it's the reluctant dragon, Kenneth Grahame's rather sweet and harmless scaly beast.

In this retelling of Grahame's tale, the poor dragon's peaceful and rather carefree existence is under threat. Folk really don't like a big lizardy fire breather living on their doorstep - but it takes a rather diminutive and diddy knight to come up with a plan to save the dragon, and restore peace to the kingdom.

Normally we frown on anyone messing around with classic books too much but this is so beautifully rewritten, presented and illustrated. Fred Blunt's humorous art style is an utterly delicious fit for the book, making it accessible and above all a huge amount of fun (It'd make such a brilliant animated film in our opinion!)

Fantastic stuff - there are quite a few different versions of "The Reluctant Dragon" around for younger readers but this is definitely the best we've seen.

Charlotte's best bit: The crazed antics of the townsfolk when they find out there's a dragon on the loose

Daddy's favourite bit: A nice meaty children's picture book that has a really broad appeal across a range of ages. Particularly brilliant if your kids are looking for knight-and-dragon themed books.