Sunday, February 2, 2014

Marmaduke the Very Different Dragon by Rachel Valentine & Ed Eaves

Marmaduke's not like all the other dragons - his ears are too big and he never even tries to fly. He just doesn't fit in, however much he wants to, and so he feels terribly lonely.

And Princess Meg? Well, she wears trainers and breaks into dance at the most inappropriate of times, which means that she sticks out like a sore thumb. She doesn't really have any friends, but then she's far too busy having fun to notice . . . 

Until one day when Marmaduke and Meg's lives collide in the most exciting, brilliant and surprising way and they both realise just how much they need each other.

I received this copy from the publishers for an open and honest review.

Star Rating

 Although this book comes under the 0-5 age category I had no qualms about reading it with my Year Two class and they absolutely loved it!This is a great book to use within a PSHE lesson or an assembly to teach children about the value of being unique. It covers both the challenges and the positives of being yourself and standing out from the crowd. 

Marmaduke the dragon is different. He has sticky-out scales, enormous ears and very unusual wings. The other dragons are unkind to Marmaduke and often laugh at him. 

"I don't like being different!" he sighed, as a tear rolled down his cheek.

However, when he meets Meg, a very different Princess, Marmaduke's luck changes and he realises the true value of being different.

In a class of 28 children (who love stories), all but one raised their hand to tell me they enjoyed this book. One child told me she thought "Marmaduke was cute" while another "liked the fact he was different." All the children were pleased that Marmaduke finally found a Princess to protect and were relieved it had a happy ending.  The one child who raised his hand for disliking the book did so for the following reason, 

"I didn't like this book at all! The purple dragons were so mean to Marmaduke and it made me feel sad."

This response alone shows that this is a perfect book for teaching young children right from wrong, particularly when meeting people who are different in some way. One boy in my class told me that "if you are not like other people then you are different. But surprisingly the purple dragons were jealous of Marmaduke in the end. So maybe it is best to be different!"

This story is very well written with some great story language for children to use in their own writing.Although my class loved this book they were, however, disappointed that the front cover ruined the revelation of Marmaduke's wings towards the end of the story. This small drawback aside, this is a great book for young children (and teachers of all ages). 

Out 13th March 2014!

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