When I first looked at the copy of Dragon Loves Penguin that Bloomsbury had sent me both Little Miss C and I were completely drawn in by the adorable dragon on the cover, peering at something just coming out of an egg. But just what was it that dragon was nurturing, as it didn't exactly look like a baby dragon?
The story is set up so that a little penguin called Bib asks his mummy for a bedtime story about dragons and his mummy obliges.
When the dragons arrived in the penguins' home in the antarctic and started laying their eggs there one dragon sadly found herself with no egg at all. Feeling sad and upset the dragon goes off to be on her own, but as she's flying around she suddenly spots an egg, all alone on a small floating bit of ice. That egg needed a mummy and that dragon needed an egg.
When her egg hatches people start to notice that this dragon's little one differs somewhat from all the others. Whilst they all learn how to do dragon like things and get showered with gifts, this special little one instead was given love and time, and was taught how to survive and be courageous. Little one was picked on by the little dragons though for being different and this really hurt.
One day though the little one finds her own egg to look after and nurture. And that little egg turned into Bib!
This really is an adorable book, with so many fantastic messages for our children to take away from it. It certainly prompted several conversations with Little Miss C and how people are different and also about how mums love their children, even if they are, or look, different to them. She did get a little bit confused at first about how the story of the dragon finding the egg fitted in with Bib. The fact that we explained it by saying "Granny is a dragon" may come back to haunt us a bit the next time she sees her Granny in particular!
I can't really put into words properly just how much I love this book - not only for the excellent positive messages that it gives our children - but also just as a nice story to read with Little Miss C. I've somehow not come across Debi Gliori before, but apparently she's written and illustrated more than 75 books for children over a 20 year career! I'm off to go and explore her back-catalogue...
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Dragon Loves Penguin for the purposes of this review.