Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Dare to Care: Pet Dragon

Symes, Sally (Author)
Robertson, M.P. (Illustrator)
Quarto 2016. 30 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9781847805898 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

To get a newly acquired dragon egg to hatch, play soothing music: the egg, in all its huge, polka-dotted glory, will shortly begin to glow, rumble and steam. With tongue firmly in cheek, this user’s guide to owning a dragon offers advice on handling, feeding, grooming, flight training and veterinary care. Ostensibly penned by the “Chief Dragon Officer for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Dragons,” the book alludes to imaginative organizations and considerations—dragons, we are told, “require actual ‘fuel’ for their bodies,” including sulphur, coal and flint.

Each page is full of inserts and boxes, such as “Nutcase Studies” of dragon-egg customers, outlandish how-tos and how-not-tos, and “Cool Dragon Names” (“Don’t choose a long name—dragons have short attention spans”). The inventive, meticulously rendered drawings illustrate everything from dragon manure to fireproof jackets and are occasionally printed over graph-paper patterns, giving the book an additional whiff of veracity.

Caring for a dragon is a big responsibility, but the legendary lizards are pets with great benefits: “you will travel the world … make friends with people in very high places, and never, ever have to struggle to light a barbecue again.”

  •  

    Share background knowledge about dragon life (what they eat, their interests, how to take care of them, etc.).

  •  

    This is a tongue-in-cheek, “authentic” non-fiction text. Make a Venn diagram to compare this text to a non-fiction text such as Shimmer and Splash by Jim Arnosky. Which structures and features are common to both books?

  •  

    Create a Dragon Wanted poster that features the key characteristics you may want in a pet dragon.

  •  

    Use the information provided to create a Job Application Form for a dragon egg thief. Be sure to have high standards and expectations for this important position.

  •  

    On a picture walk, note the various structures and features of the book. How do the features (diagrams, labels, lists) help you find the information you need?

  •  

    Discuss whether this book is fiction or non-fiction. How do you know? How can you make sure a document such as this is true? Where else can you apply this thinking?

  •  

    Draw a character map for a dragon owner. What are the characteristics of someone who would care for a dragon, besides “insane”?

  •  

    Create a page in the same style about caring for a pet of your choice.

  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information
  • Media Literacy
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Science and Technology