Thursday, 18 April 2013

Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow, Lenny Lipton and Eric Puybaret (Sterling)

I have a confession to make. As a child I really, REALLY did not like the song "Puff the Magic Dragon" - I think it was a bit too syrupy for me, as I bopped around to slightly more racy stuff like The Alex Harvey Band or possibly even Pink Floyd.

Nevertheless, it's a song that has endured and I bet you're humming it to yourself right now as you read this review of a book that's based on it.

Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame) and Lenny Lipton have contributed to a book with stunning illustrations by Eric Puybaret - and reading the story through, it's still a bit too syrupy for my tastes but Charlotte loves anything to do with dragons (as you'll see in our next review!) so grabbed this with both hands when we spotted it in the library (minus its CD, we didn't dare listen to the song again, it just gets completely stuck in your head)

Puff, the magic dragon lives by the see, frolicking in the ocean mist in a land called Honalee (yes you do remember the lyrics!)

The story tells the slightly melancholy tale of Puff, and his friend Jackie Piper (renamed Paper for the book, oddly) - as they grow up together and Jackie spends long summer days with his best dragony friend.

Soon though, Jackie gets older, and other distractions steal him away from those golden shores. There's a lovely uplifting end to the book though so don't be too sad.

Eric Puybaret's artwork is the real star of the show here, in our opinion. Glowing illustrations so beautifully painted that fit the song / story wonderfully.

We still don't really like the song but who could resist the lure of a good dragony book!

Charlotte's best bit: The end, and the person who takes over from Jackie as Puff's best (new) friend

Daddy's favourite bit: It's amazing the song is so enduring, and it's great to see it turned into a children's book in this way. Can't help thinking though I'd love to see Alex Harvey's "Man in the Jar" get the same treatment :)