"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."

Borges

Monday, February 26, 2007

Jane & the Dragon


Jane & the Dragon
Author: Martin Baynton
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN-10: 0763635707
ISBN-13: 978-0763635701

Jane and the Dragon is a charming and heartwarming tale about a little girl in medieval times who dreams of becoming a knight. It’s a pretty unusual, if not downright strange dream for a young girl in Jane’s time.

Nobody gets it. Her mother just wants her to be a lady in waiting, and practice her embroidery stitches.

Her father just laughs at her.

The King doesn’t listen.

The prince pushes her into the mud.

The knights make fun of her.

What’s a girl to do? Give up on her dreams? Change her ways? Not Jane. After the court jester who is the only one to believe in her gives her a shiny suit of armor in just her size, she practices on her own, determined to become a true knight. One day, while all the knights are away, a dragon kidnaps the prince and only Jane is left to save him.

I loved this book and was so happy with Jane’s character. She’s strong-willed, determined and smart – a perfect role model for little girls. I loved that she doesn’t accept her fate but sets out to change it. Jane also happens to be kind and in her interaction with the dragon, really teaches children about turning a bad situation around and making it good.

I think that this book is not only fun and witty, it’s an important book. The book really celebrates cleverness, kindness and following your dreams. I’m so glad that this has now been made into an animated series. I know I’ll encourage any children of my acquaintence to watch it.

About the Author
Martin Baynton has written and illustrated several books for children. His Jane and the Dragon books inspired an animated TV series first developed in Canada and now airing in the U.S. on ABC, iNetwork, and Telemundo. Martin Baynton also writes for the stage, television, film, and radio. Born in the U.K., he lives in New Zealand.

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