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Zog, the Learned Dragon
Zog - Julia Donaldson
Member Name: paulie1975
Zog - Julia Donaldson
Advantages: Wonderful animation, good characters, writing and story
Disadvantages: Hardback better than paperback
Zog is a wonderfully colourful story about a dragon who is continually set new tasks at school as part of his learning curriculum.
The book follows Zog a popular orange dragon, as he learns various tasks like flying, breathing fire and kidnapping princesses. Inevitably for a beginner some of these things go horribly wrong and Zog ends up requiring help from a young princess who affectionately looks after him, helping him when he singes his tale or needs a princess to capture for his studies.
As the story develops, Zog and the princess grow older and a brave knight comes to rescue the princess giving Zog the chance to complete his final school exam, fighting brave knights. Will Zog win the fight, or will something else happen. As this is a book for very young children there is obviously a happy ending that avoids violence and shows a different option which is much more pro-active and caring.
This is another in a series of great books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, to start with the animation is probably my favourite in any of their collaborations, there are a myriad of dragons and the colours are fantastic, there is a lot of attention to detail, but nothing looks angry or aggressive. It is a beautiful looking book and matches the story perfectly.
The words rhyme and the story develops in repetitive couplets, whilst not as good as the Gruffalo or what the ladybird heard, this is a good book for kids between 2-4, it has some interesting themes and shows that even if your destiny is pre-set because of who you are there are other options, Zog chooses one of these and is encouraged to do so by his teacher and friends.
I found the story good fun, enjoyable and informative and my little one loves it, i'm not sure if there is a hardback version but we have the paperback which is slightly too big and requires lots of wrestling to ensure little one doesn't rip the pages in an enthusiastic attempt to get more involved.
The paperback is £4, or £1.52 used on Amazon and i'd say it is great value, if you can get a used hardback version this would be better though.
Overall this is a fun and informative story, packed with colour and wonderful animation. This is easy to read and enjoy and will be loved by your children.
Summary: Zog, the Learned Dragon