This is one of the very many books that sit in my children's book case, and to be honest I am not sure how we came across this book. I think I may have picked it up at a library sale while my son was still a baby. I had never heard of the author before but looking at the book I can see what would have attracted me to it. The bright, bold and eye catching illustrations jump out of the page even on the cover of the book.
Cinder is a popular dragon with one small problem--instead of fire, Cinder breathes bubbles! While the king searches for a fire-breathing dragon for his palace, Cinder is sidelined. But can the bubble-blowing dragon save the day? The story is about Cinder the dragon, he is unlike any other dragon as rather than breathing fire, it is bubbles that come out. The king decides he doesn't like Cinder anymore he wants a real dragon, but he soon finds that maybe that wasn't the right decision. Can Cinder change the Kings mind by saving the day? We follow this dragon and his owner on an adventure that begins from the very first page. It is a very fast moving book, and in 32 pages it holds the children's attention while they wait to find out what happens next.
This book is a fair length to read at bedtime. It is not too long so that younger children become bored, but at the same time the characters and story have the right depth to keep older children interested. All of my children enjoy this book and they range from 4 months old up to five years old. The main characters are bubbles and the king, who both have humour added to their character, and I do find my children laugh out loud at points. It also covers a lot of emotions, embarrassment, sadness, fear and pride. There is a message in this book for children, and that is that it is ok to be different. Cinder is different to all the other dragons, but this isn't a bad thing as his unusual feature actually makes him the most loved dragon in town. When my children started nursery, they began to notice differences between their friends. I was not sure they understood the point the author was trying to get across, but from questions I have received from my children it seems like it has.
The illustrations are really what make this book as interesting as it is. The pictures all cover two pages at a time and in the pictures are hidden objects, and people so that little one really has to look at the pictures to find them. The pictures are bright, and bold grabbing little ones attention straight away. Each time we read this book my children find something else in the pictures that they never noticed before. The illustrations are animated enough to still appeal to young toddlers, but feel a little more grown up than other stories we own so my eldest son enjoys it too. There are lots of pictures of dragons through this book as you would expect, but I wouldn't say your child has to be a huge dragon fan to enjoy it.
This is a story that I read to my children, rather than them reading it with me. They have been to recognise words, and my eldest son can even read some books by himself, but this book is just a little too advanced for them to read at age five. The words are showed differently on each page; sometimes we will find a paragraph of the story on one page. Next we find the words drifting above the bubbles drawn on the book, and other times we have to search out parchments which include important parts of the story. This makes the book fun for children, as even if they are unable to read the words them self, they can help mummy by telling her where to read next. This is a book I enjoy reading to my children and not one that makes me groan when they choose it, so it is fun for both children and parents.
Although this book is enjoyed by my children, I do find it is one that gets chosen once in a while rather than every day. We have read it a number of times, and sometimes it can sneak in to the reading pile two days in a row, but we found that as nice as the story is it isn't overly exciting that make children choose it over and over again. What I like about this book is that it got my children asking questions. Throughout the story they would ask why the king was fed up with Cinder. Is everyone different? Is that why I like Thomas but my friends like Spiderman? So we found it is a book we would discuss after we finished reading it rather than just drifting off to sleep.
We do like this book in our house, and it is picked from the book case on a few occasions. It doesn't become boring when you have read it more than once, but it isn't one that could last a week's worth of bedtime stories like some other books can. The illustrations in this book along with the story itself make a magical tale about a dragon that was unlike any dragon he had ever met. It has a good message within the book, while still making it a fun and interesting read for younger children. I would suggest an age range of two to six years for a child to really be able to enjoy it. Having a quick search in Google shows it is available from Amazon for £4.49, or from the marketplace for 1p plus postage. Jessica Anderson is the Author, and Leah-Ellen Heming the Illustrator.