Friday, January 19, 2024

Today's read... No Dragons for Tea by Jean E. Pendziwol

When I stumbled across today's read, I just had to pick it up. I want to invite that dragon to tea! Or maybe not. Dragons might pose some issues...which, I believe, is exactly what this book is about. So, I'm going to get a pot of water boiling, pour myself some jasmine tea (I do love a nice jasmine brew), and see if I should get ready to host an afternoon get-together with the neighborhood dragon or not.

Fire Safety for Kids (and DRAGONS)
by Jean E. Pendziwol
Illustrated by Martine Gourbault
Kids Can Press
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

While out for a walk with her mom, a little girl has the surprise of her life --- she meets a real, live, fire-breathing dragon! Now this dragon is nothing to be afraid of --- in fact, he’s so friendly that she invites him home for tea. But their afternoon snack is suddenly interrupted when the dragon sneezes and sets the table ablaze. Luckily, the girl knows just what to do, and she teaches her new friend to be fire smart, too. With its funny, rhyming verse and spunky illustrations, Dragons for Tea shows kids that learning about fire safety doesn’t have to be scary. The story ends with “The Dragon’s Fire Safety Rhyme” --- a fun and easy way to remember what to do in case of fire.



Smiles, imagination, and a wonderful dragon make this a read to be visited again and again...and not even realize important fire safety is being taught along the way.

A little girl can't believe her eyes when she and her mother run into a dragon. Of course, she'd love to invite her new friend to tea, and Mom even agrees. With all sorts of delicious treats, the girl and dragon sit down to enjoy their snack...but then, the dragon sneezes. The table cloth catches on fire, the curtains begin to burn, and the two join the mother to handle the situation.

This is one of those books, which dives into imagination, draws the reader into a fun tale, and very stealthily lets the plot teach something without breaking the story flow. The little girl's desire to make the dragon her new friend is inspiring, but then, this is a friendly dragon. Readers will wish they could meet one themselves. It sparks the fantasy and lets it bloom.

When the dragon sneezes and the fire starts, it holds just the right atmosphere to keep things light enough not to scare even more sensitive readers, while still giving the needed sense of urgency. While some things are clearly stated through the mother, others come across more subtly and are woven into the story: for example, the girl crawls out of the house to avoid smoke. 

The illustrations are bright and bold with a sense of gentleness thanks to the chalky texture. Each scene comes across clearly and with little details to look for. They balance with the story and add then needed emotions and expressions.

It's just an all-around lovely read to enjoy not only the story, but as a valuable information source as well.

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