Tell Me a Dragon written and
illustrated by Jackie Morris
published by Frances Lincoln, autumn 2009
(also published USA, Sweden, Spain, Denmark)
The idea for Tell Me a Dragon came whilst working on the Terry Pratchett Disc World Calendar. In Guards Guards there is a place where dragons sleep and wait to be summoned. They are created by the imagination of those who summon them, and when I was working in schools I began to ask children, if they had a dragon, what would it look like? Some answers were very simple, but some lit the children's imagination until the air echoed with the sound of dragon wings. One day someone asked me, if I had a dragon, what would it be like. I realized that almost every day it would be different. Some days I would like a big dragon to fight battles for me, sometimes a small dragon to curl around my ear and tell me stories. Each day a different dragon, but each one mine. And so I wrote Tell Me a Dragon.
The image above is the star dragon, taken from the proofs of the book with the text set in place. The text reads:
My Dragon is made from the sun and the stars.
Sparkled with stardust
all night he follows the silver moon-path
across the sky.
The image above is a wind dragon, ridden by a wind wizard. Around the neck of the dragon is a wind spell in the shape of three knots. To summon a wind each should be untied, one for a fair wind, one for a storm, and the other should never ever be unleashed.
Kirkus Review for Tell Me a Dragon, October 2009.
"A beguiling invitation to the diverse, fantastical realms of dragons. The front endpapers show a tiny hatchling emerging from one cool-hued egg of many, beginning the magical tour. No matter the setting—from sky to sea, fairy-tale land to urban landscape, sunflower field to stark arctic and desert places—humans everywhere each have a special dragon that may "ride to the secret music of the wind" or "keeps one eye on the door to be sure no monsters creep into…dreams." The final double-page spread encourages readers to "[t]ell me about your dragon." When the last page is turned, the back endpapers provide enticing glimpses of a multitude of dragons hatching, prompting the imagination to take over. Morris's deft hand with watercolors expertly conjures an inky sky, fiery warmth radiating from a lamp and icily harsh climes while still capturing the striking details of sharp talons, delicate wings and snaggle-toothed faces. Together with the brief verses, the images will appeal to all who love to make believe."
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