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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)
Where is the dragon?
by Leo Timmers
Age Range: Under_5
The King is scared and cannot sleep; he fears a dragon is lurking in the dark. He orders three of his bravest knights to go in search of the dragon in the middle of the night. They are willing and eager to obey even though they are not quite sure what this dangerous creature looks like. Armed only with a single candle to light the way they set off on their quest. But in the dark, nothing is what it seems.
Here’s another delectable creation from Dutch author/illustrator Leo Timmers, translated by James Brown. The clever shadowy imagery gives readers much to look at as the knights take it in turns to recount the king’s varied descriptions of the dragon displayed in Timmer’s silhouetted shapes which are often not what they first appear – “their spikes are thick and double-sided” but when one of the knights holds the candle up the spikes turn out to be the ears of some rabbits who are sitting munching on a bed of carrots. “Their tails stab the dark like thorns.” Says Knight Two but when they look, they discover some snoring sentries guarding a boat of gold! And so, it goes on until the final shape which is dismissed by the knights after a fruitless search, but could it be a real dragon this time?
Timmer’s books are always amusing and Where is the Dragon? proves no exception. Fear, mystery, and a riddle are carefully interwoven with lovely humour that will provide young readers with plenty to look at as they follow the knights on their night-time adventure.