The winter dragon ISBN: 9780711221000
Published by Frances Lincoln, 2003
Lyrical poetry in word and picture. Rory doesn't like the dark and cold of the winter, when 'down came the big blanket of night, over all the things that Rory knew'. But the night after Rory makes and paints a green dragon with red spikes and wings, he discovers that the dragon provides him with warmth and light and bedtime stories about fire and earth, knights and dinosaurs and treasures galore. Rory sleeps in the warmth of his dragon, but when spring comes and mum wants to throw away the now tatty model, Rory is not ready. Even though he now falls asleep when it is still light outside, he clings to the dragon's comfort, built out of his own imagination. It is only when he comes to realise that the dragon is longing for his own home - 'the melting middle of the earth' - that Rory lets him go into the fire of the wood stove. The soft colours and expressive faces (particularly the heroic dragon's) blend perfectly with the text. A book to treasure and read again and again for solace.