Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon

( 1 )


It’s time to feed the dragon! But this year the village is out of princesses. 
So the villagers send Oscar, a not so plump little boy
who would rather COOK dinner than BE dinner.
Putting his culinary skills to the test, Oscar shows the dragon that filet mignon and banana splits are much more delicious ...

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It’s time to feed the dragon! But this year the village is out of princesses. 
So the villagers send Oscar, a not so plump little boy
who would rather COOK dinner than BE dinner.
Putting his culinary skills to the test, Oscar shows the dragon that filet mignon and banana splits are much more delicious than princesses and children.
Ute Krause’s captivating artwork and engaging story create a recipe for reading

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
German author/illustrator Krause brings long-practiced skills to this sly story. When no princesses are available to feed the local dragon, young Oscar, a schoolboy in a T-shirt and backwards baseball cap, is sent instead. The dragon is outraged at Oscar's tininess, so the boy offers to fatten himself up, requesting kitchen equipment and groceries. Oscar has a gift for cooking, and although he has gained weight, he fools the dragon into believing otherwise ("Oscar, who had learned a thing or two from listening to fairy tales, quickly held out the cooking spoon to the nearsighted dragon"). After much protesting, the dragon caves and tries human food--of course, the two end up opening a restaurant. It's a neat amalgam of fairy tale elements with a little Top Chef thrown in. Krause's pacing is brisk and her tone sure. In her competent hands, the background scenery--lopsided half-timbered cottages, Oscar's kitchen-in-a-cage, and the restaurant they open together (with bathroom signs that show a male dragon standing and a lady dragon seated)--becomes an integral part of the entertainment. Ages 4–up. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Typical of most dragons, the one who terrorizes Oscar's village is hungry, and he can only be satisfied by a "fat juicy princess." Sadly, the royal limo has left town, taking any rotund royalty with it, so the village holds a lottery to pick the next best substitute. Oscar, the unfortunate boy, is sent up the mountain to his apparent doom. Clever child that he is, he tricks the nearsighted dragon into fattening him up before devouring him. An apparent culinary genius, he sends the dragon out on daily grocery trips for the necessary ingredients to make delicious meals, like grilled eggplant. Oscar offers his captor tastes of his creations, but stubbornly the dragon refuses until he is almost starved. Finally, he relents, and is transformed into a foodie. One would think this is the happy ending, but when the dragon finds his bifocals, he discovers that Oscar has indeed fattened up, and is quite incensed by the boy's trickery. Oscar talks some sense into the creature, convincing him that a live-in chef would be better than a single meal of Oscar à la mode. The dragon consents, and a new village restaurant, Cafe Dragon House, is born. The illustrations are wonderfully detailed watercolor spreads with plenty of amusing elements. Both main characters have expressive faces. Because of its length, this humorous picture books is best suited to independent reading.—Jasmine L. Precopio, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, PA
Kirkus Reviews

A terrifying beast meets its match in a resourceful boy. When the earth trembles, the villagers at the bottom of the hill know it's time to send the dragon a princess to eat. One day, unfortunately, no princess is available; a child is the next best thing. Village elder Mr. Ballymore holds a lottery and young Oscar (in short pants and backwards baseball cap) is selected. Oscar convinces the dragon, who hasn't eaten in nearly a year, that he needs to be fattened up and turns his birdcage prison cell into a master kitchen. He teases the dragon with tantalizing smells while putting off the day of his eating with additional requests for savory ingredients, all designed to fatten him up, and the old Hansel-and-Gretel trick (he's a well-read boy, too). In the end, the dragon proves that, though he's indeed very hungry, he's also very nice. Packed with wit that never descends into camp and illustrated with verve and style in ink-and-watercolor cartoons, Krause's substantial, self-translated fractured fairy tale delights on every level. (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735823068
  • Publisher: North-South Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 564,125
  • Lexile: AD690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.90 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

UTE KRAUSE was born in Berlin but grew up in many countries, including Turkey, Nigeria, India, and the United States as well as Germany. She is the author of more than sixty children’s books published in Germany and throughout the world.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 6, 2012

    Warning; this book promotes an unhealthy lifestyle

    If you care about your child, you wouldn't want him or her to read a book that promotes smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking dope, so why would you want him or her to read a book that promotes blatant overeating? It's hard to believe any loving parent would, considering that childhood obesity is a major health problem now. This book contains language that is reminiscent of the feeder-feedee relationship, in which the feeder enables the feedee to eat pathologically huge amounts of food to 'fatten up.' The first night with the dragon, Oscar eats six roasted eggplants, enough pasta to feed a dragon, and lots of ice cream. The next night, he eats even more. After overeating like this, Oscar's stomach becomes "nice and round" (more feeder-feedee lingo) on his way to becoming fat. Frankly, I really don't understand how any responsible publishing company would put this out for children to read. If this kind of story is suitable at all, it belongs in the adult literature for the feeder-feedee population to peruse.

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