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A young girl captures the dragon that has been terrorizing the villagers of Tarascon. ...
A young girl captures the dragon that has been terrorizing the villagers of Tarascon. Based on a Provencal legend.
In this version, the village has endured many nights of lost livestock when Martha arrives on the scene—as a young girl, willowy and barefoot. She confronts the dragon that very night, tying him up with a sash and imprisoning him. Roth (The Biggest Frog in Australia, p. 750, etc.) presents Martha as a brave female role model (stripped of personality or motive, other than to do good) rather than a religious icon. The colorful collages give the book a "puppet show" feel that sacrifices both the dragon's horror and Martha's spirituality for a touch of spice and dash. That trade-off makes the story accessible to young readers. Combined with the secularity of the retelling, the book needn't scare away those who object to more overtly religious parables.