Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Gold Star for Zog

A Gold Star for Zog

Julia Donaldson
Illustrator:  Axel Scheffler 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Scholastic, 2012   ISBN: 978-0545417242

Zog is a student at Madam Dragon’s school and he is the largest, and keenest, dragon in his class. In their first year at the school the young dragons learn how to fly, which is not easy at first and takes a lot of practice. Zog practices and practices. He soars and loops. He even loops the loop. Unfortunately, Zog then crashes head first into a tree.

   Zog is lucky that a little girl is walking by just then and she puts a Band-Aid on the dragon’s injured head for him. The same girl helps Zog out when he practices roaring too much in his second year and gets a sore throat. When he is practicing his fire breathing in his third year, Zog accidentally sets his own wing tip on fire. Once again, the girl comes to Zog’s rescue, providing him with a stretchy bandage to wear.

   In Zog’s fourth year at Madame Dragon’s school he learns how to capture a princess. When it is time for Zog to go out and catch his own princess he encounters a problem: Princesses are not easy to catch!

   In this amusing story, we meet a dragon with a problem, and a young girl who has dreams of doing something meaningful with her life. It is amusing to see how, as the story unfolds, the dragon and the girl figure out how to create places for themselves in the world that work for them.