George's Dragon Goes to School by Claire Freedman and Russell Julian

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George's Dragon Goes to School by Claire Freedman and Russell Julian

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: George takes his pet Sparky to school for show and tell, but is it really sensible to bring a big, lively dragon into the classroom?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: August 2013
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-1407132068

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I would have been useless during Take your pet to school week. The goldfish who lived with us for short moments of my life (and the entirety of their short lives) wouldn’t have been very portable and even if they had, they’d have been a bit boring, swimming in circles mouthing 'o-o-o' . I would have been immensely jealous of anyone who brought in a lively puppy or a cute snuffly bunny rabbit. As a bit of a trophy whore even at a young age, I would have been very sad that I wasn’t really in the running for the Best Pet cup.

At George’s school, the pets are as diverse as the children (how nice to see a Sunita and a Callum alongside an Amber and an Emily). There are hamsters that can stuff their pouches full of nuts, kittens than can jump through hoops, and even a parrot that boasts of being trilingual, though there’s no real evidence he can speak Spanish, Japanese and Arabic. George, however, has a secret weapon. Enter Sparky: he’s big, he’s lively, he’s purple… and oh yes, he’s a dragon. But a pet dragon, so he still qualifies.

George’s mum is not too sure. “Is it safe?” she asks. Miss Perks, his teacher, asks the same question. And while George assures them it is, Sparky is just a little bit big for a classroom setting. He breaks the furniture, knocks the pens off the table, and sets fire to the nature display. It’s not good! The children are laughing but Miss Perks is not. Is there anything Sparky can do to redeem himself (and win George the trophy in the process)? This being a children’s book, of course there is, but you can read it yourself to find out the inventive way in which Sparky saves the day. And it is, as George promised all along, perfectly safe in the end.

This is a fun, energetic story. It might be a smidge too loud and lively for a bedtime read because there are lots of opportunities to make noises and join in with the drama, but it’s pretty much perfect for any time you don’t want them to calm down and go to sleep. There are quite a lot of words in this one, but they’re fairly straight forward, so it bridges the gap between stories that are for reading to you, and stories that are for reading by yourself. This one covers both and gives you something to sink your young baby teeth into.

The pictures are great, full of lots of slightly creative flourishes that aren’t necessarily routed in reality – coloured stars on the road to school, that kind of thing. I love how George and his dad have the same super-quiffed hair, and the page with a montage of the classmates and their pets – perfect for finding the child who has the same pet as you at home, should you be so lucky. The children don’t wear school uniform which is the sort of thing a young me would have picked up on – why do they get to wear jeans rather than the orange and brown monstrosity that I was condemned to for all those years? – so that too adds to the overall brightness of the pages.

This is a sweet story that I cannot fault. Entertaining, surprising, well delivered with wide appeal for boys and girls (and dragons too). Recommended.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

The same pair combine their talents in Tappity-Tap! What Was That? by Claire Freedman and Russell Julian to great effect, or for more dragon tales why not look at Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow, Lenny Lipton and Eric Puybaret

Buy George's Dragon Goes to School by Claire Freedman and Russell Julian at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy George's Dragon Goes to School by Claire Freedman and Russell Julian at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy George's Dragon Goes to School by Claire Freedman and Russell Julian at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy George's Dragon Goes to School by Claire Freedman and Russell Julian at Amazon.com.


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