Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon

Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon

Ute Krause
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
North-South Books, 2010   ISBN: 978-0735823068

Once a year the great dragon wakes up hungry and he makes the earth shake and tremble. When this happens, the people in the village know that it is time to give the dragon a princess to eat. One year the dragon wakes up and the villagers realize that they have a problem; they have no princess to give to the dragon. Since they have no princess, the villagers decide that one of their children will have to be sacrificed, and by sheer bad luck Oscar’s name is the one that is picked out of the village elder’s hat.

   Oscar sets off up the mountain to meet the dragon in his lair. The dragon is starving and he is not pleased that he is being offered a scrawny child who will barely serve as a “teeny-weeny snack.” Oscar suggests that the dragon fatten him up so that he can be a “main course.” Since this sounds like a good idea, the dragon takes Oscar into his cave and he gets Oscar the ingredients he needs and a stove.

   Oscar cooks food that smells so incredible that the dragon gets hungrier than ever, but he refuses to eat any “stupid human food.” Again and again he turns down Oscar’s offer to cook the dragon a meal, and then the dragon cannot take it anymore and he finds out that human food cooked by Oscar tastes a lot better than a princess does. Who knew?

In this wonderful tale we meet a very intelligent boy who just happens to be a splendid cook, and a dragon who has a very empty stomach.  The tale brings together  humor, colorful characters, and an unusual food-centric element,  and the clever interaction between the two main characters will delight readers who have a soft spot for dragons.