Fiona McDonald, Sophie Masson, and Beattie Alvarez (text), Lisa Stewart, Beattie Alvarez and David Allan (illus). Three Dragons for Christmas, Christmas Press, 6 Nov 2015, 32pp., $21.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9780992283896
This handsome production, with its green-scaled end-papers and gold lettering on the cover, contains three stories featuring dragons. Dragon Market, by Fiona McDonald has a fairy-tale plot where toy-makers Griselda and her daughter Aurelia do a good deed for someone in need and are rewarded with a magical gift which changes their fortune. The author has used a variety of illustrative media and styles to enhance her story. The Christmas Dragon by Sophie Masson is a charming and funny tale about little dragon Fiery Greenskin who wants to help Santa pull his sleigh – for after all, she has all the necessary qualifications – she is a strong flier, and is really good with chimneys! How she succeeds in helping Santa by using her other special talents makes a delightful story which promotes the message to never give up on reaching for your dreams. Lisa Stewart’s soft, pastel toned illustrations delightfully capture Fiery’s emotions and determined, brave actions in the snowy night sky. In The Dragon’s Pet by Beattie Alvarez, the Dragon family are in despair when their naughty pet wrecks Christmas dinner preparations – but help is on its way. This rhyming story draws heavily on Clement Moore’s The Night before Christmas for its form, but the rhymes and rhythms are inconsistent and rather strained in places. Alvarez’s illustrations set the scene, and there are also two powerful paintings of dragons by David Allan. While Sophie Masson’s story is the most engaging and skilfully written, this well-designed book would be enjoyed by young dragon lovers up to about 6 years.
Reviewed by Chloe Mauger