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DRAGON STEW by Steve Smallman


by Steve Smallman & illustrated by Lee Wildish

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-56148-695-3
Publisher: Good Books

"Five bored Vikings went out hiking," looking for adventure...or just something to do. Gangly Loggi Longsocks (in shades of pink from head to toe and sporting a skull belt buckle) suggests catching a dragon and making a stew. In no time, they load a ship with supplies and set sail. When a giant orange squid attacks their ship, they tie its tentacles into knots. They travel a long time--until all their sandwiches are gone. Luckily, a passing killer whale guides them to Dragon Island, where an enormous pile of poo tells them they're on the right track; they climb a rocky hill that turns out to be the dragon, who sets all their pants on fire as they flee. Smallman's text, in phonetically crunchy verse, bounces humorously along, and Wildish makes each member of the Viking quintet deliciously distinct. The ending's a bit of a letdown, but readers both young and old should laugh at the resemblance of these ragtag Vikings to resourceful kids battling boredom in the backyard. (Picture book. 4-7)