Review of Not Your Typical Dragon, by Dan Bar-el and Tim Bowers

Not Your Typical Dragon

by Dan Bar-el
illustrated by Tim Bowers

Viking, 2013. 40 pages.

Big thanks to my co-worker, Kim, for booktalking this book at the elementary schools this year. Watching the Kindergarten and 1st grade classes roar with laughter just at the description, I had to take a closer look.

Crispin Blaze was born into a proud family of fire-breathing dragons.
“Every Blaze breathes fire,” explained his father. “I breathe fire. Your mother breathes fire. Tomorrow, when you turn seven, you’ll breathe fire, too.”

But when Crispin tries to light the birthday candles on his cake, he feels a tingling in his tummy, but fire does not come out. Instead, he breathes out whipped cream!

Crispin’s parents take him to the doctor, and there he breathes out band-aids. The doctor gives him medicine, but Crispin continues to breathe out silly (but oddly appropriate) things. As they seem more and more outrageous, each one is good for a laugh.

Crispin meets a knight who has been told he needs to fight a fire-breathing dragon. They work on the situation together. Things get a little hot, but there’s a lovely solution at the end, and Crispin and his family get to embrace the fact that he’s not your typical dragon.

The message of not necessarily meeting family expectations, but embracing who you are, is an old one. This book puts that message in a funny and fresh package.

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

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