The Peace Dragon
A cautionary tale about the dangers of prejudging others.
Sherwyn, a little boy with a pair of binoculars strung around his neck, is an explorer. One day, while on an expedition, he finds a curious sparkly item. He gives it a tug and realizes it is a tail attached to a dragon! Understandably, Sherwyn gives a horrified shout. But the dragon is smiling. This makes Sherwyn pause and begin a conversation. When Sherwyn points out the dragon’s scary, pointy scales, the dragon expounds on the importance of seeing the whole picture; she sheds a scale, and Sherwyn sees that it is actually a heart. The dragon is a peace dragon. To further illustrate the point, when Sherwyn brings the dragon back to his village, the townsfolk immediately think the dragon is dangerous and threaten to attack. The shadow from the angry mob forms the shape of a dragon on the ground. Seeing this, they realize they are the only scary dragon around. The fairly lengthy text is set in a thin, small sans-serif type and expressed in a chatty, conversational tone, with authorial asides (“In some stories, getting close to a dragon can be a very bad decision. This isn't that kind of story"). It makes no effort to conceal its teaching purpose, but there’s no question the advice it offers is sound.
This doe-eyed dragon may help children look to others who are different with compassion instead of fear, whether it be on the playground or in the world. (Picture book. 4-7)