The perfect introduction to the legendary world of dragons, The Dragon Machine uses a clever mix of text and illustrations to describe how George, a young, overlooked boy, becomes aware of dragons hiding all around him.
But when it becomes apparent that they don't belong in George's ordinary world, he endeavours to do the best for his new friends and find them the home they deserve.
A heart-warming and magical tale from award-winning illustrator, Helen Ward.
Ward and Anderson follow The Tin Forest with another somewhat eerie fantasy about the power of imagination. In a nod to the legend of Saint George, a lonely, dragon-loving boy of the same name begins seeing dragons everywhere he looks. Pictures show George, disproportionately small compared to the adults around him, as he alone spies dragon heads poking out from purses, and tails wiggling out of sewer grates: "Ignored and overlooked, the dragons went unnoticed... just like George." Both art and narrative (presented in a medieval-ish typeface) seesaw between whimsical and somber tones. Humorous vignettes portray the dragons as a cross between playful pets and devious imps as they chase butterflies, tease a cat, break things and steal candy. Anderson's dense, otherworldly environment unfolds in detailed brushwork that creates a kind of painted cross-hatching effect and alternates bright, burnished colors with George's and the dragons' muted hues. Eventually, George builds a hulking, metal dragon out of pipes, pulleys and screws, and uses it to lead the "real dragons," pied-piper style, back to the wilderness. The mood is again magical and even slightly sinister as the machine, with its curved metal talons, sharp wings and smoke-emitting nostrils, flies across a moonlit sky, the dark shadows of the real dragons in its wake. By story's end, George has restored the dragons to their dreamworld and attracted the notice of his parents. Children who like their tales elaborate and off-center will relish George's adventure. Ages 3-9.