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Ignis is a dragon who everyone loves, he can run faster and fly higher than any of his dragon friends but Ignis has a problem, there is something a dragon must be able to do that Ignis cant, breath fire.
Ignis was very upset about this and every night he would sit in his cave practicing, he would huff and puff untill he went blue in the face and couldnt puff no more but still no fire.
Ignis decided that if he couldnt breath fire he wasnt a real dragon so he left dragon land and all his friends behind to go on a search to find out what he realy was, along the way he makes friends with lots of different animals and a little girl who all help him but will this poor little dragon ever find his fire.
This is a fantastic story for young children and is great as a bed time story as it is long enough to get them settled in bed but not that long that mom falls asleep as well, it has about 40 pages in this fantastic book.
The only problem ive had with this book is my daughters are now trying to teach my bearded dragon to breath fire. Its wonderful how vivid a childs imagination can be.
Author: Gina Wilson
Illustrator: P J Lynch
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Date of Publish: October 2001
Age suitability: 3-6 years
Number of Pages: 38
Availability: Amazon, The Book People, Waterstones, WHSmith and any reputable bookstore
RRP Price: £10.99
Amazon Price: £7.25
Ignis is a child dragon who can't find his flame no matter how hard he huffs and puffs. Desperate to be recognised as a true brave and strong dragon, he sets off promising not to return to his family and home until he has found his fire. Along the way he makes new friends who help him to discover who he really is, none more important than Cara, a young girl staying with her Gran for the holidays who keeps the garden gate locked in fear of monsters. The two become fast friends and Ignis stays with her for a week telling stories and playing games in the beautiful garden of Cara's Gran. When Cara returns home at the end of her holiday, Ignis continues on his journey determined to find his flame. Will he give up or will his flame appear just when he least expects it?
***Who is Gina Wilson***
Gina was born and in North Wales in 1943 and went on to study at Edinburgh University and later trained as a journalist at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, USA.
Gina was first published as a novel writer for young adults in 1980 and has since received critical acclaim for a number of works of this ilk. Several of her books were short-listed for the Carnegie Medal, the Smarties Book Prize. Ignis was short-listed for the Bisto Book of the Year Award.
In addition to writing, Wilson also teaches occasional Creative Writing classes and works as a psychotherapist near her home in Oxford.
*Other Picture Books by Gina Wilson*
Jim Jam Pyjamas
***Who is P J Lynch***
Born and raised in Belfast, Ireland Lynch remembers family holidays at his relatives farm and his mothers encouragement as being the catalysts to his career as an illustrator and artist.
Lynch is not only an accomplished children's book illustrator. He has also illustrated 4 sets of Christmas stamps for the Irish post office, paints large oil paintings and sculpts in his spare time and has even managed to fit in learning seven musical instruments, although he admits he doesn't play any longer.
*Other Picture Books Illustrated by P J Lynch*
A Christmas Carol
Oscar Wilde Stories for Children
Favourite Fairy Tales
***What did I think of the story***
This is a wonderful story of true imagination and tenderness. It is written in a beautifully descriptive manner allowing the reader to no only learn to love the main characters; Ignis and Cara in particular, but to identify and sympathise with him. Ignis's story is not a unique one and as children we have all dealt with the same insecurities and confusion in growing up.
As far as picture books go, there is a fairly substantial amount of text. Some children may shy away from or loose interest in the story simply because it is a bit longer than most, although my 2 year old sit quite happily and somewhat mesmerised as I read each page to him. Personally, I very much enjoy reading children's books which have not "dumbed down" in fear of being too challenging for children. I think these types of books encourage our children to strengthen their reading skills and more importantly in younger kids, their attention span. This book in particular also encourages children to use their imagination and to believe in the unbelievable. These are truly precious yet rare qualities these days.
***What did I think of the illustrations***
Each page was filled with the most intense, rich and vibrant images which the reader instantly gets caught up in. The illustrations are truly magical and mirror the imaginative, fantastical feel of the story perfectly. It is no wonder a 2-year old will sit patiently as I read the extended text - while I read he can get swept way with the delicately painted adventure.
Lynch paints with an incredible detail, which isn't often found in children's books. The characters very nearly dance off the page with their authenticity. Ignis has the most gentle of dragon faces - so real that I can imagine feeling the hot air from his nostrils tickling my skin as I pass my hand under his nose. With Ignis, lynch rose to the challenge of illustrating a story too beautiful for simple and juvenile style images and the results are stunning.
Together Wilson and Lynch have created a land of magical indulgence that welcomes children into a fabulous land of make-believe. This is a truly exceptional book and I think any household with this on its shelves will benefit from its richness and beauty.
Illustrated by P.J. Lynch