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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
How To Light Your Dragon
by Didier Levy
Age Range: 6-8
This entertaining picture book by French author Didier Lévy will have children giggling from the outset. What do you do when your pet dragon no longer breathes fire? The frustrated dragon owner is nothing if not tenacious and tries some hilarious tricks to fire him up: Perhaps a good shake will do the trick; maybe tickling or bouncing him up and down could be the answer. A trip to the shops or making him a cake with candles on to try and temp him – “a dragon can’t resist lighting candles”, can he? Even trying to make him angry by cheating at cards doesn’t have the desired effect. The trouble is that nothing works. There’s just no reaction at all!
Lévy has combined humour with an underlying serious message of the importance of loving unconditionally. The good translation, (sadly uncredited), together with the wild colourful comic pen and ink and watercolour illustrations by Fred Benaglia and the exuberant hand-drawn typography which sprawls across every page in large capital letters, all make for a striking, stylish and very funny book.