We were delighted when we won a copy of Once Upon A Dragon’s Fire from Toppsta.
This book is a lovely mythopoeic tale that takes the idea of explaining how dragons got their fire. But it also has hidden depths, undulating below the sweet story of two brave small children is challenging gossip and not taking stories at face value alongside the idea that the smallest act of kindness can light a spark of change.
The entire village is terrified of the dragon that lives in the mountains thanks to the terrible stories of eating kittens and stealing all the heat from the world.
When it gets too cold two children set out to challenge the dragon and win back warmth to the world, but when they find the dragon, they discover the stories are just not true, and the dragon is very lonely and in need of some encouraging stories.
The art is stunning throughout with a Disney Animators or Treasure Books feel with softer edges and some Asian inspired styling. The colour palette evokes the narrative beautifully as the book moves from smudgy grey tones to hot brights as the story progresses symbolising the warming of hearts and minds.
I really liked this story as it had a cosy magical element not just through the dragons but by sharing stories and choosing kindness can manifest magic and great things in the world.
Loo roll dragons!
Paint your loo roll as the base colour of the dragon, leave to dry. Once dry, you can do what we did and draw on details in broad felt tips, and then go over with glitter glue etc or if you have them add foam or card shapes for eyes, ears, nostrils, whatever you want.
Once dry we used glue dots-but you can use glue stick or sticky tape- to attach paper ribbons/tissue paper cut into streamers (sssh my pink streamers are cut from a paper napkin) into one open end to represent the fire.
This is super fun and if you take care to affix fire to the top of the ‘mouth’ as well as the bottom children can blow hard (huff from the gut!) through one end to make the dragon ‘breathe fire’ for longer than if you fix to the bottom!
Littlest children or those who don’t have enough puff to blow the fire could fix theirs to a stick and wave it about.
Make your own myth- inspired by Sophie Anderson & Candy Gourlay’s activity at their Blackwells talk
Pick an idea that would be fun to find a mythical reason for such as how did the bat get its wings, why do cats and dogs not get along or why is the snowdrop the first flower to tell us of the coming spring?
Discuss creative reasons for this ranging from philosophical to funny depending on your child’s personality.
Older children may want to act it out using toys or make a mini play, Others may want to write or illustrate their own story.
Once upon a dragons fire by Beatrice Blue is published by Frances Lincoln Books an Imprint of Quarto Kids
Thank you to Toppsta for our prize! 💜