Monday, February 21, 2011

"The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari"

"The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari"
Written by Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark; illustrated by Vincent Nguyen

My Detailed Description:
Padraig and Roger have decided that they want to camp out ALL night long at the base of Mount Sillymanborrow. At first they have fun, eating tasty, crunchy bugs and making s'mores. However, the fun starts to go away when it begins to get dark and the noises of the wild start to ruin their evening. The boys begin to believe that the sounds they are hearing are animals in the wild, such as rhinos, elephants and monkeys, while in reality they were common animals you might find in your owl (howler monkey), squirrel (giraffe), raccoon (elephant), and a dog (rhino).The boys share an adventure in the night when they help to save a small leopard (a kitten) from a tree (where the dragon learns he can blow fire for the first time). As the boys are finally deciding that it is too much for them to be out, dawn breaks and they realize they have been brave and have stayed outside ALL night long. Then they decide they need a nap before taking on any other adventures of the day.

My thoughts...
This is a story about Padraig (a dragon) and Roger (a turtle) who determine to go on a safari which is really staying out all night in their backyard. They have some adventures with some not so wild creatures during the night. The book is beautifully illustrated. The story seems to get bogged down at times. There is a bonus story at the end (The Legend of Mount Sillymanborrow - which wasn't scary at all - it was pretty cute!) and a page of conversation starters & questions to discuss courage and friendship with your children/classroom. There is also a bible verse which the story is supposed to be teaching about. Would be appropriate for preschool through elementary age children (ages 4 and up).

I felt the book was awkward to read aloud, because the characters used British sounding phrases such as "my good fellow," "Oh, righto," "Cheerio. Right jolly good," etc. The story line worked well to teach children about facing fears, and being kind to their friends.

My two year old daughter enjoyed the pictures, but the book was too lengthy/chatty to read to her, and awkward (as I mentioned above). The two characters seem to just talk balk and forth the entire story - which was kind of boring. The whole lesson of the story was supposed to be about being brave & how to not be scared of the dark - I'm not sure if the characters learned that lesson (they just stayed out there long enough until it was dawn). I wasn't a fan of the British phrases or the big vocabulary words either. I think I will wait to actually "read" this book to my girls for awhile...but until then we will enjoy looking at the beautiful pictures and learn to imagine & pretend together just as the boys do in the story.

A really cute book, but not outstanding. I give it 4/5 stars. You can find this book on Amazon or at a bookstore near you!

Thank You so much Blogging for Books and Waterhouse Multnomah for allowing me to share this book with my family! I cannot wait to read more books from you in the future!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Waterhouse Multnomah book review bloggers program, "Blogging for Books". I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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