Melissa Gijsbers, Lizzy’s Dragon, Stone Table Books, June 2017, 74pp., $12.95 (pbk), ISBN: 9780648118626
Lizzy’s Dragon is a fun book for early readers that combines an Australian rural setting with a bit of fantasy. Lizzy wants a pet lizard, but Mum says they have enough animals. While going for a walk in the paddock to get over her annoyance, Lizzy finds a curious yellow rock. Still feeling unhappy that she can’t have a pet of her own, especially as her unsympathetic younger brother has a puppy, Lizzy keeps her new find safe (and secret) in her room. The “rock” turns out to be a dragon’s egg, which complicates everything. Bubbles, a water rather than fire breathing dragon, is a wonderful but difficult secret to keep. When drought conditions turn to bushfire, the problems of an annoying little brother and convincing her parents of the sense of keeping a dragon are outweighed by the valuable service that Lizzy and Bubbles can contribute to the fire fighting effort. Lizzy’s Dragon will be appreciated by those who aren’t too worried about suspending disbelief, and the rural setting works well.
Reviewed by Marita Thomson