East Dragon and West Dragon live on opposite sides of the world. With West Dragon’s huge wings and East Dragon’s long, swishy tail, crossing the sea to meet would be easy – but the two dragons never visit.
“West Dragon thought East Dragon was a snob. East Dragon thought West Dragon was a slob. And besides, being dragons, they were a little afraid of each other because they didn’t know who was bigger, who was fiercer and who had the bluest, hottest fire.”
But when some meddlesome knights start a rift between their two kingdoms, East Dragon and West Dragon are finally forced to come face-to-fire-breathing-face and they discover that they are not so different after all.
There are a few important themes in this book that are handled delicately by Eversole. Most obviously, it’s a story about friendship across cultures but more importantly it’s also about (irrational) fear of the unknown.
It’s noteworthy that East Dragon, West Dragon is a picture book aimed at older children. Slightly more text than the average picture book, finely detailed illustrations and a theme that is particularly relevant to school-age children puts this book firmly in the four-to-eight-year-old category. I was recently reminded of the importance of reading aloud to children by my son’s grade four teacher, which in turn reminded me of an article we featured some time ago about the value of picture books for older children.
Find East Dragon, West Dragon at Book Depository, which ships free to Australia.