Imagine a Dragon

Overview

A creature made of myth and dreams. Imagine a scaly creature more than a hundred feet long that spews fire and beats its wings to fly. Or imagine another creature with the head of a camel, horns like a deer, and paws like a tiger. Different cultures imagine dragons differently. An English dragon might terrorize the countryside, and a Chinese dragon might cause a drought, a flood, or even a hurricane. In this stunning book, richly illustrated by Eujin Kim Neilan, Laurence Pringle explains how people came to ...

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Overview

A creature made of myth and dreams. Imagine a scaly creature more than a hundred feet long that spews fire and beats its wings to fly. Or imagine another creature with the head of a camel, horns like a deer, and paws like a tiger. Different cultures imagine dragons differently. An English dragon might terrorize the countryside, and a Chinese dragon might cause a drought, a flood, or even a hurricane. In this stunning book, richly illustrated by Eujin Kim Neilan, Laurence Pringle explains how people came to believe in dragons and offers young readers an engaging look at dragons from cultures around the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With the current interest in dragons in fiction, this book fills a nonfiction need giving the history of this creature in world cultures. . . . Will be a great addition to any collection whose users are into the current dragon stories." —Library Media Connection

"Will show young readers that there is much to learn about dragons and may lead them to research and dreaming of their own." —School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
People all over the world have been telling stories about dragons for thousands of years. Pringle explains how these tales may have originated, then examines some of the stories. After pages about the ancient Egyptian dragon Apep, the Norwegian Nidhoggr, and one in ancient Greece, he moves on to more details about Western dragons of Europe and England. The final pages describe the very different dragons of Eastern Asia. On the last page we meet the only dragon that is not make-believe: the Komodo dragon. The wide range of the subject has encouraged Neilan to create single-page scenes featuring the varied creatures in action, including contexts to enhance character: Nidhoggr chews on baroquely twisted tree branches and roots; St. George is on a prancing white horse; great flights of Eastern dragons could cause terrible storms. Acrylic paints are used to produce details of scales and teeth and twisting tongues but also to design each scene into geometric patterns. A comb-like tool produces scratchy textured surfaces that unify the parts. Even the "good" dragons of Asia are imagined in intriguingly dramatic form. Note the different style of the endpapers and the small squares heading the text pages. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 1-4- Pringle explores the history and traits of Eastern and Western dragons. He suggests why ancient civilizations might have believed in them and differentiates among their traits in different parts of the world. Illustrations, done in acrylic in a somewhat dark palette, invite readers, as the title suggests, to use their imaginations. All are filled with swirling colors, a few so kaleidoscopic that viewers must search for the creatures among the curves and lines. Patterns in backgrounds and borders reflect the various cultures from which they come. Among the eye-popping dragon books published recently, this one has a more scholarly feel. The summaries of stories about these mythical animals lack the richness of true storytelling, but the book will show young readers that there is much to learn about dragons and may lead them to research and dreaming of their own.-Ellen Heath, Easton Area Public Library, Easton, PA

Kirkus Reviews
Light on specifics-and totally free of source citations or leads to further information-Pringle's anecdotal survey of dragons worldwide floats next to a set of kaleidoscopic action portraits done in swirling combed acrylics. Making it plain that he's describing imaginary creatures, the author begins with examples from ancient civilizations, closes with a reference to dragon floats in modern Chinese New Year celebrations, and in between, mentions monsters from Asia, Europe and Africa, but not the Americas. Neilan's toothy worms occupy color or monochrome scenes rendered in a fragmented, cubist style. Gail Gibbons's Behold-The Dragons! (1999) is just one of several titles that will give younger audiences a better grounding in dragon basics; consider this one only for readers who can't get enough on the topic. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563973284
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurence Pringle is the recipient of several awards for his body of work, including the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award. He lives in West Nyack, New York.

Eujin Kim Neilan is the illustrator of The Best Winds, by Laura E. Williams. She lives in Natick, Massachusetts.

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