Written by Kathryn England
Illustrated by Valeria Issa
Xist Publishing 2/19/2015
32 pages Ages 4—8
“A dragon protects a child’s dreams from nightmares in this picture book perfect for bedtime. Bedtime stories inspires a series of dream protectors for a little boy. The dream dragon keeps the nightmares away and is joined by dinosaurs, pirates, super heroes and more in the quest to keep nighttime safe.” [publisher]
The Dream Dragon enters the dreams of a young boy. He wants to be the main dream; the dream the young boy remembers in the morning. Dream Dragon chases good dreams off to the edges, out of his way, where the dreams will not be hurt. But if the young boy experiences a bad or scary dream, the Dream Dragon scares it out of the boy’s dreams to forever be forgotten.
The Dream Dragon continues protecting the young boy, until one day an egg appears. He has no idea what this BIG egg could be,
“He hoped it was just a giant fluffy duck. He would only have to say ‘BOO!’ to a giant fluffy duck and it would run away.”
The egg cracks and inside is something the boy had learned about in school. Dream Dragon could not fight off this creature, though he tried with all his might and with every flame he could muster. In the end, Dream Dragon is cast off, much like he had cast off so many other dreams. This new creature is as diligent as Dream Dragon had been, but is soon replaced with a super hero, who is replaced with a . . . who is replaced with a . . . and so it went with the young boys dreams. Dream Dragon never returned. Then, one night, a young girl slips off to sleep . . .
The Dream Dragon is a clever take on the ever-changing nature of dreams and how the world around us, what we read, see, touch, and think influences the dreams we have at night. The Dream Dragon also explains why dreams can be difficult to recall, having been pushed off to the side by our own “dream dragons.”
The illustrations are cartoonish and not at all scary. I love the Dream Dragon’s eyes, which have red lines around the pupil and dark circles around the eye. It looks like the Dream Dragon gets little sleep of his own. The fight between Dream Dragon and the creature from the egg (also when the egg cracks open), is accented with large onomatopoeic words such as,
“CHOMP” and “WHOOSH”
Whenever the Dream Dragon speaks the text becomes capitalized and accented. Some may not like this drastic change in font, but it does give the Dream Dragon a sense of ferociousness and his speech strained, as though he finds it difficult to speak while in the middle of fending off other dreams. The last two dream defenders each have a life-line. If your dreams don’t have this life-line, you probably do not play video games.
The Dream Dragon will appeal to parents looking for “boy books,” though young girls will like this cuddly looking ferocious dream-keeper. The Dream Dragon is also a good choice for a bedtime story, especially if a child is having trouble with bad dreams. The last thing a child hears and thinks about before nodding off may well be his source of dreams. The Dream Dragon is cute enough to appeal to a four-year-old, yet savvy enough to catch an eight-year-old’s imagination. The Dream Dragon is illustrator Valeria Issa’s debut.
THE DREAM DRAGON. Text copyright © 2015 by Kathryn England. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Valeria Issa. Reproduce by permission of the publisher, Xist Publishing, Irvine, CA.
Learn more about The Dream Dragon HERE.
Meet the author, Kathryn England, at her website:
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Meet the illustrator, Valeria Issa, at her website: https://valeriaissa.carbonmade.com/
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Also by Kathryn England
Grandfather’s Wrinkles – illustrated by Richard McFarland
Sami’s Genies (Aussie Nibbles) – illustrated by Craig Smith
Scratch and Old Mouse – illustrated by Kimberly Soderberg
T-Rex’s Terrible Tooth – illustrated by Ben Redlich
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: The Dream Dragon by Kathryn England & Valeria Issa, and received from Xist Publishing, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. 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.”
THE DREAM DRAGON by Kathryn England. Illustrations © 2015 by Valeria Issa. Used by permission of Xist Publishing.