Dragon Scales and Willow Leaves

Overview

Dragons! Pirates! Forest trolls! Jonathon's walk in the woods requires courage and daring to battle the forces of his own imagination. Rachel's walk in the woods is filled with the beauty of nature, as her scientific eye for details spots floating willow leaves, frisky squirrels and boisterous bullfrogs. In this feast for the eyes and creative spirit, Terryl Givens and Andrew Portwood play with perspective and celebrate the different ways in which we see things. Are the willow leaves really the scales on a fiery ...
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Overview

Dragons! Pirates! Forest trolls! Jonathon's walk in the woods requires courage and daring to battle the forces of his own imagination. Rachel's walk in the woods is filled with the beauty of nature, as her scientific eye for details spots floating willow leaves, frisky squirrels and boisterous bullfrogs. In this feast for the eyes and creative spirit, Terryl Givens and Andrew Portwood play with perspective and celebrate the different ways in which we see things. Are the willow leaves really the scales on a fiery dragon -- or a beautiful carpet on the forest floor? It all depends on what you see.

Although they are twins, Jonathan and Rachel neither look the same nor do they see things the same way--especially in the forest.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Jonathan and his twin sister Rachel don't look alike and they don't see the world in the same way. On their walk through the woods this becomes quite apparent. Jonathan sees monsters to slay, soldiers to fight and pirates to fend off while his sister relish the quiet and the beauty of the trees, flowers and animals. In spite of Jonathan bellicose nature, he comes off as quite imaginative and more interesting than his sister. The message of showing that there are different ways to look at things is good, but unfortunately it gets mixed with some stereotyping about boys and girls.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2--Jonathan and Rachel, red-headed twins, embark on an adventure into the woods. Visual details predict their different viewpoints, for the boy carries a toy shield and spear while the girl carries a teddy bear. Thus, a rustling of leaves becomes an oversized and somewhat comical dragon for Jonathan while Rachel listens to a weeping willow. Loud sounds from the trees turn into an attack of forest trolls for Jonathan while Rachel smiles at the blue jays and squirrels. Jonathan returns home to a castle after his great adventure while Rachel is just happy to be welcomed to the farmhouse by her mother. This pleasant story certainly makes the point that twins can be different but it's unfortunate that the author and illustrator use gender stereotypes of daring boys and quiet girls to do it. The soft watercolor illustrations and story line will appeal to parents and teachers who are looking for an old-fashioned sensibility. Most adults, however, may question the premise.--Susan Pine, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
From two newcomers to children's books, a dreamy glimpse of the way in which children make use of the world around them in imaginative play and wonder.

Twins Jonathan and Rachel take the same walk around the land surrounding their farm house, but they see things quite differently. In a perfect illustration that defines them and the day, Jonathan is shown in t-shirt, shorts, and sneakers, peering through thick-lensed glasses and pointing skyward, while Rachel, her back to him, wears a picturesque frock, and is absorbed in collecting wildflowers. In the leaves of a huge willow tree, Jonathan sees a dragon looming, while Rachel looks at sheltering limbs and carpet of leaves. Rachel's quarreling blue jays and noisy squirrels are Jonathan's aggressive forest trolls, and so on. At the page-turning cliffhangers, readers will want to shout along with Jonathan—story hours could get noisy. The summer setting is joyfully delineated in Portwood's watercolors, which capture the fluid movements of the children and gracefully depict realistic and fantastic scenes. About half the size of most contemporary picture books, this one proves how much can be done with small, tidy dimensions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399226199
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/13/1997
  • Pages: 1
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.32 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.36 (d)

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