Once Upon a Dragon's Fire

Once Upon a Dragon's Fire

Once Upon a Dragon's Fire
Beatrice Blue

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781786035530

Do you know how dragons got their fire? It all began once upon a magic kingdom, when a fearsome, terrifying dragon stalked the land. He was so mean he ate kittens for breakfast, he was so scary he made children scream, and he was so evil that he blew huge storms out of his jaws, which is why it was always so cold. Or so the stories said. When two children called Freya and Sylas met the dragon, they found something very different indeed... This heartwarming story of how dragons got their fire is the second in a series explaining how magical creatures got their distinguishing features and the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Once Upon a Unicorn Horn.

Librarian's Book choice

The illustrations are beautiful! This book has so many meanings, hidden messages, and themes: friendship, love of reading, love, loneliness, being misjudged and facing your fears all feature within this picture book. However, the overriding message is that of not judging a book by its cover. The book can be used to explore any of these themes with children.

The author, Beatrice Blue, has very cleverly put this title together with well thought out language that is accessible for children aged six and over, although, my four-year-old loved the story, thanks to the incredible pictures. The illustrations support the text so well that upon additional reads the story could be retold without the text.

The story sees two children, Sylas and Freya, share a love of reading. Their favourite story is all about an evil dragon. The whole village talks about the mythical beast. It is said that the dragon 'is so mean that he ate kittens for breakfast!' There are many negative rumours about the dragon that perpetuates throughout the town. However, no one has ever seen it!

When something terrible happens in the town, people know who to blame; the dragon. Freya and Sylas head off in search of a solution. Their bravery sees them face their fears and enter the dragon's lair, but their expectations are shattered when the dragon does not have sharp teeth or a deafening roar: he just looks sad and lonely. The duo knows exactly what to do.

This is a beautiful, meaningful story with absolutely breath-taking illustrations. Once Upon A Dragon's fire is a story that is not just a must-read but a must-read more than once. Trust me, you will get different meanings each time.

Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by James Hewish, teacher