Book Review: ‘One Hungry Dragon’

Megan Amato reviews One Hungry Dragon, the new children’s book from Edinburgh-based author Alastair Chisholm.

IT’S no secret that Edinburgh-based children’s author Alastair Chisholm loves dragons as his early reader series, The Dragon Storm, is full of lore and popular amongst children ages six to eight. In One Hungry Dragon, he takes on a younger audience with this delightful picture book about – you guessed it – a dragon whose hunger cannot be sated no matter how much he consumes.

Chisholm is clever in creating a book that is simple, engaging and educational. From two sheep to ten little piggies, children can laugh as they count the number of creatures that this ravenous dragon eats. As it’s geared to children aged three to five, I like that – despite Bernardo’s penchant for eating all that he sees – he’s not a terrifying figure and even has a redemption arc encouraged by four “proper princesses” that he had eaten earlier.

Award-winning illustrator of The Little Pea (and many, many more), Alex Willmore’s signature bold and bright style transforms Chisholm’s fun and quirky picture book into a visual feast. My favourite scene is in the middle when Bernardo is slurping up mermaids. The contrast of colours and the expressions on their faces – from Bernardo’s carefree blissful smile to the mermaids varied looks of dismay – stands out despite the seeming simplicity of each figure.

I expect that One Hungry Dragon will be a popular book with parents too, as it’s not overly didactic, the story is simple and entertaining without too many tongue twisters and the bright and fun illustrations will keep children’s attention drawn.

One Hungry Dragon will be published on 14 March by Hodder Children’s Books.

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One Hungry Dragon