Monday, August 6, 2018

The Angry Dragon by Michael Gordon

The story features a boy and his pet dragon. It specifically addresses the topic of anger. George and his pet dragon, Joe, spend the day together and run into various real-life situations which may cause anger. The book is a great starting point for a discussion about how to deal with feelings of anger with young children.

The format is well done with words on one page and a beautifully drawn, colorful and relevant image on the other. The font is clear enough that a beginning reader would be able to pick out some words. The topic of anger is covered well without being over the top or silly. The suggestions for how to deal with anger are realistic and practical.

My one issue with the story is that it is written in a Dr. Suess style with an attempt to rhyme the sentences. I do not have an issue with the style per se, but the execution here has some flaws. There are 4 "stanzas" on each text page which are separated by a space. Each stanza ends with a period, even when the actual sentence continues into the next stanza.  There are also some issues with the cadence of the rhyming. The syllable counts range from 11 to 14 and some of the word choices make reading the story out loud awkward.

Overall I love the concept and direction of this book. I also love the illustrations. However, the flow of the stanzas needs to be more consistent so that the cadence isn't lost.