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Please note : It would be impossible to review this book properly without giving some type of spoiler. In fact the title itself is a spoiler. While I am a stickler for spoilers in adult books, I do not feel that anyone young enough to enjoy this book will be reading this review.
' Where Did all The Dragons Go ' is, as the title suggest about what happened to the dragons long ago. Every part of the world has ancient tales of dragon like beasts, but of course none are alive today, so if you choose to believe they once were real - where have they gone? This book is for every child who asked this question. This book tells of a time long ago, when dragons shared the earth with man. The children loved the dragons and often joined in their games, but the adults could not understand the powerful creatures and feared them. The time came when the dragons knew they must leave to find their own place. they joined into a great flock and flew away, to a place unknown, but perhaps some trace remains. When the clouds grow black as smoke, and the fire of lightning can be seen, you just my hear the dragons roar again.
' Where Did all The Dragons Go ' is written in short rhyming verses. I find it hard to find rhyming books that my son really enjoys, so finding a dragon one is a real plus. My son can rhyme himself quite well, but I still believe it is important to keep listening to rhyming books until he is reading confidently on his own. Listening to and recognising rhyme is one of the first steps to literacy and better too much of a critical skill than not enough. But while this does rhyme, I find it lacks something in rhythm. Some rhyming books seem to have a lovely cadence as well, but this one didn't quite make it in that department for me.
What makes this book really worth buying is the quality of the illustration. Each two page spread is a beautiful well detailed painting, that brings the story to life. The final illustration lightens the mood further and leaves the story with a very happy ending.
My son enjoyed this book immensely. He wasn't entirely happy that the dragons are sad at one point, but as they say "all's well that ends well" and the ending left him happy enough. As much as he enjoys this book though, It isn't one that he asks for often. It doesn't have a complex enough story, and once you've read it a few times it does loose something. He does prefer the dragon books with a bit more meat to the story, but I am still happy to have this in our collection, even if only for occasional reading. I also feel that this would have had a lot more use had I bought I few years ago. the short verse and colourful pictures would easily suit a very young child, perhaps from 18 months up. My son is nearly 5 now, and getting close to the upper age limits for this book. I would point out that Puff the Magic Dragon is also very short and without a complex plot though and has become a favourite. Because of this, I am giving this book only 4 stars, but I do still recommend if you have a dragon mad child. I do not believe this is in print anymore but used copies are plentiful. I'm sure I paid £1.48 for this used from Amazon with no postage. They currently have paperback copies for £1.59 with free postage, but the link you click above it takes you to a more expensive edition.