Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Children's book review: The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari
Two little boys spend the night outside in a tent. They're scared, but use their big imaginations to have a great night together. Dreaming up jungle animals and campfire stories, the two of them have a blast and somehow get through their night without giving up and going inside. Personally, the story wasn't my cup of tea. But for my 7-year-old son... it was great!
The "boys" in the story are a turtle and a young dragon, which would appeal to any little boy's mind. Their wild imaginings, which I thought were a little dumb, kept pace with whatever was in my son's imagination. He said the book was one of the best he's read with me lately.
The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari is definitely geared toward little boys as opposed to girls. The action was enough to keep my son's attention. At the same time, it wasn't too scary for him. My son is very sensitive and scares very easily, but this book was just right for him.
Surprisingly, his favorite part was also one of my favorite parts. We both liked when the dragon and the turtle overcame their fears enough to rescue a cat from a tree in the middle of the night. His least favorite part was that the dragon and the turtle talked in a decidedly British (or Australian, or whatever) way. Phrases like "my good fellow" were sort of self-explanatory but some words like "mum" and "a capital idea" took a bit of explanation on my part.
As a "mum," I was especially grateful for the discussion questions in the back of the book, which center around the dragon and the turtle's concern for each other and how to encourage each other in scary situations. As a Christian, I was really happy to see a bible verse at the back of the book - one which even a little boy can directly relate to the story.
The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari is recommended for ages 4-8. I would probably go with 5-8, as the difference between the dragon and the turtle's imagination and what they are really doing (camping in the back yard) could be a little confusing for young minds.
The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari ($11.99) by Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark is published by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
I received the product mentioned above for free via Mama Buzz. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.