Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book Review: The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari by Donia K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark.

I love children's books, especially ones with lovely illustrations. The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari is well-illustrated. Both boys and girls might find the pictures accompanying the text to be appealing.

The story, itself, is a nice one. It's not entirely original, as it makes use of a common plot line: Children (or their imaginary anthropomorphic equivalents) who spend a night in their backyard and are frightened when, in the darkness, they mistake normal events for something more sinister. But, the authors do put their own spin on the tale, as the characters are pretending to be explorers in Africa. At the end, they provide a scripture and ideas about how children can help each other to be brave.

To me, the major weakness of the book is that the main characters try to speak as if they were African explorers. The language sometimes comes across as stilted and is probably over the head of children on the younger side of the book's suggested age range. Parents can probably compensate for this by explaining the words or by simply telling the story in their own, less stilted manner.

The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari could be a nice addition to a large home library of children's books. I'm not sure that I would include it if I could have only a few books for the children in my life. To me, it's not a must-have.


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