If you are after a wonderful bedtime story, or just a wonderful short story to enthrall, then this is the ticket. The Little Gems series really lives up to its name. In a small sized, soft backed beautifully illustrated book, imagination and amazement run rife. The size of this book is perfect for small hands to hold and peruse, while the colours and layout add so much to the story.
The story begins with a young lad called Patrick who is in bed watching the moon shine through his window turning everything silver. “Who could sleep on a night like this?” A book that Patrick had been reading during the day was on the floor, and the pages began to turn, rustling as though a hand were turning them.
A dragon gradually began emerging from the pages. He was a beautiful dragon, but very tiny. He was quite distressed, as a very noisy, bossy knight on a horse began to emerge from the book. The knight also was very tiny, but determined to chase the dragon. Fortunately the dragon slotted into Patrick’s castle on the floor. The knight thought he must be in the land of giants, and ordered Patrick out of the way, so he could capture the dragon, but Patrick was not afraid, and told him there would be no dragon hunting in HIS room! After a minor scuffle, the knight was vanquished.
The book is well set out. The text is a good size, with only five to eight lines on a page. Some pages are broken up with delightful snippets of illustrations. A dragon tail here, and a small knight there. The back colour of the pages is cream, which makes the text very easy to read. Some pages contain a half page picture, all the art work is in shades of soft bluish colours, giving a very night time feel without being at all scary.
Never the less there are problems to be solved. How to get rid of a cranky miniature knight and how, to return a dragon to a safe world, need to be addressed. Using toys in his room, and a good deal of ingenuity, Patrick solves both problems, then hops back into bed and falls asleep. The next morning when he wakes up, his first thought is that he had a dream. But No! There are the toys he used to baffle the knight, still on the floor.
A beautifully presented fantasy with exciting elements, making it suitable for the most timid of readers. A must for a Christmas stocking.
|Author||Cornelia Funke and Monica Armino|
|Distributor||Allen & Unwin|