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GEORGE AND THE DRAGON WORD by Dianne Snyder

GEORGE AND THE DRAGON WORD

by Dianne Snyder & illustrated by Brian Lies

Age Range: 7 - 11

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-395-55129-3
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

 George has a powerful word, ``short and sharp and ugly,'' that has always upset everyone who hears it and that has an unprecedented effect on Great-aunt Agatha: it actually turns her into a dragon, who hauls George off to her friend Wordsworth, a wordsmith. Unperturbed, Wordsworth sends the dragon to look for a becoming hat for Agatha, then explains his craft to the startled boy--he coins new words for all sorts of things, ``an enemy, a recipe, a lover's plea, a strain of flu''--and he's willing to trade a unique, made-to-specification word for George's shocker. Intrigued, George outlines his requirements: the word should be prickly but light, ``strong as an elephant,'' and include a ``fuster'' (shhh, thhh, fff, or sss)--a word to keep to himself. With charmingly witty dialogue and wordplay, an approachable format (including plenty of amusing line drawings), and the lure of the never-revealed dragon word, a grand readaloud for readers who will later enjoy The Phantom Tollbooth (1961). (Fiction. 7- 11)