Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Puff, the Magic Dragon Pop-Up

Puff, the Magic Dragon Pop-Up

Peter Yarrow, Lenny Lipton
Illustrator:  Eric Puybaret 
Paper Engineer: Bruce Foster
Novelty Book
For ages 5 to 7
Sterling Children's Books, 2011   ISBN: 978-1402787119

In 1963, a song came out that was sung by Peter, Paul and Mary. It was called Puff the Magic Dragon, and the song tells the story of a dragon who made friends with a little boy called Jackie Paper. Together Puff and his young friend traveled in a boat, journeying to places where “Noble Kings and princes would bow whene’er they came.” Even pirates showed their respect for the two friends.

The boy and the dragon were as close as friends can be, but there was a hitch. Dragons, unlike children, live forever, and a day finally came when Jackie Paper “came no more” to see his dragon friend. Puff was greatly upset when Jackie abandoned him, and the dragon “sadly slipped into his cave.”

In the song this is the end, which is rather sad, but in this book the illustrator adds a twist of his own to give young readers an ending that is more hopeful. When children turn to the last page to read the chorus verses for the last time, they will see a lovely pop-up picture of Puff, who is no longer alone.

With beautiful illustrations and clever pop-up creations, Eric Puybaret and Bruce Foster have worked together to create a book that takes one of America’s favorite childhood songs and turns it into a new and fresh visual experience. At the back of the book readers will find a little audio surprise that they will surely enjoy.

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