A Gold Star for Zog


The ultimate back-to-school quest from bestsellers Donaldson and Scheffler

What do dragons learn at Madam Dragon's school?
How to fly. . .
How to roar. . .
How to breathe fire!

Zog is the most eager student in the class, but he's also the most accident-prone. With each ...

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The ultimate back-to-school quest from bestsellers Donaldson and Scheffler

What do dragons learn at Madam Dragon's school?
How to fly. . .
How to roar. . .
How to breathe fire!

Zog is the most eager student in the class, but he's also the most accident-prone. With each test (and each bump, bruise, or scrape), his dream of earning a gold star seems further away than ever.

But a mysterious girl keeps coming to his rescue. And when Zog faces his toughest test yet, she may be just the person to help Zog win classroom glory!

The beloved creators of ROOM ON THE BROOM, THE GRUFFALO, and STICK MAN are back with this tale of an unexpected hero who's good as gold.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a fractured fairy tale of sorts from the duo behind The Gruffalo and other stories, Zog wants to be the best student in dragon school, but he crashes into a tree during flying lessons, gets a sore throat from roaring, and ignites his wings with his own fire breathing. A nice girl always appears just in time to patch him up, but she has troubles of her own: she’s really Princess Pearl, who yearns to escape the royal life and be a doctor. Will Zog and Pearl get the happy endings they deserve? And what of Gadabout the Great, a knight who shows up to “rescue” Pearl? Donaldson’s rhymes are somewhat lackluster (“Zog went off to practice./ He tried and tried and tried,/ But he simply couldn’t manage./ ‘I’m no good at this,’ he cried”), but while Scheffler’s characters are straight out of fantasy, they exude a sweet, down-to-earth quality that makes them instantly sympathetic. Readers will get a kick out of the genial self-awareness in his cartooning—on almost every spread, a character glances at the audience as if to say, “Can you believe this?” Ages 4–8. (July)
Children's Literature - Beth-Anne White
Zog is the biggest dragon in his class, and he wants to do his best to earn a gold star. Zog tries all the different tasks that his teacher gives him to practice but somehow ends up hurting himself in each of them. Luckily, there is a girl who always comes to help him. The girl is Princess Pearl and just as she helped Zog, Zog will have the opportunity to help her. Donaldson has created a fun read-aloud. There is a repeating pattern in the story for each new lesson that Zog is to practice as well as each encounter with Princess Pearl. Children will look forward to this repetition and begin to expect it for each new practice. Donaldson also creates a rhythm, structure, and rhyme pattern that is engaging to hear read aloud. Scheffler's illustrations make the dragons come alive. The dragons are depicted as fun and loveable creatures learning in school and trying to please the teacher, just as human students would. The illustrations are fun and colorful on each page. Scheffler chooses sometimes to focus just on Zog trying to do one of the lessons and other times it is a full color-filled page with details and animated dragons. This book is sure to entertain with its brightly illustrated pictures and text that is both easy to enjoy and read. Reviewer: Beth-Anne White
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—In this rhyming story, Zog is subpar at most dragon skills despite being the largest dragon at school. Though he wants to win a gold star, he fails flying, roaring, and fire-breathing, and each time he attempts any of them his injuries are treated by a gentle human who turns out to be Princess Pearl. The kindhearted girl agrees to be captured so that her friend can finally earn his star. She then remains as medic to all the dragons. When a knight in armor arrives to rescue her, she stops the fighting by explaining she'd rather be a doctor than a princess, and the knight agrees to work with her—with Zog serving as an ambulance. Humorous illustrations feature dragons in primary colors with comical expressions in richly colored forest and mountain landscapes. The artist cleverly captures the dragons' enthusiasm and depicts the princess with a long nose and vibrant outfits. Donaldson's rhymes have a bouncing cadence that guides the story's flow. A delightful new twist on happily-ever-after.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
The New York Times Book Review
…[Donaldson] and Scheffler outdo themselves with the smart, funny—dare I say, deep?—story of a dragon in training, a princess who wants to be a doctor and a knight who could use a bit of rescuing. The book gets a gold star too.
—Pamela Paul
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545417242
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 155,021
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD590L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia Donaldson is currently being honored as the UK Children's Laureate, and has written many bestselling picture books and novels for young readers. She lives in Glasgow, Scotland, with her husband, Malcolm.

Axel Scheffler's award-winning books include ROOM ON THE BROOM, THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE, and THE GRUFFALO. His illustrations have been published in more than thirty countries. He lives in London, England.

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