Sometimes dragons get too much respect.
Sapphire the dragon isn’t one for crushing castles, torching forests, or swiping damsels. She isn’t happy with her rocky roost either, so she flies off to discover more amenable climes. She does, in a meadow sweet with flowers and grasses and copses of birch. But she scares the dickens out of the meadow dwellers, all except the mouse she inadvertently lands upon, who in no short order tells the dragon she can’t stay. Sapphire tries to explain that she is a friendly dragon when a series of muddles makes her look like a bad old dragon after all, and she is banished from the meadow. Whereupon a flight of other, truly ill-meaning dragons descends on the meadow and torches the place before Sapphire returns to chase them off. The meadow now cinders, Sapphire, with the foxes, squirrels, rabbits, and mice riding on her back, flies off to find a new home. There’s little new here, but the artwork conveying the story is a natty collection of colors, collage, and brush strokes to keep the eye busy and build sympathy for Sapphire. Lambert isolates his characters against generous white space, which heightens the effectiveness of body language and interactions.
A simple story with sophisticated illustrations that won’t fly over the heads of young readers. (Picture book. 4-8)