Ages 5^-8. That perennial source of fascination, the dragon, is the newest subject for the ever-inventive Gibbons. She follows dragons through different cultures and times, sorting them into different types--serpent dragons, sky dragons, and so on. She explains why people might have thought so much about dragons (to explain puzzling events such as earthquakes) and discusses their modern-day use in celebrating the Chinese New Year. The pictures vibrate with energy and combine colored pencils, watercolors, and textured papers, all outlined in Gibbons' characteristic black pen. The last page briefly covers other topics such as real-life Komodo dragons, the Loch Ness monster, and gargoyles. If displayed so that library patrons can see its gilt title and the fire-breathing creature on the front, this will be snapped up and enjoyed. ((Reviewed May 1, 1999)) Copyright 2000 Booklist ReviewsReview by School Library Journal Reviews
K-Gr 4-Gibbons begins with a discussion of how early humans created imaginary beasts to explain natural phenomena. She credits "dracontologists" with classifying folkloric and literary dragons and describes each of the five types in a few brief paragraphs. She retells some of the most famous tales involving these creatures, including those of Marduk and Tiamat of ancient Mesopotamia; Hercules and the Hydra; Beowulf and St. George and their dragons; and Quetzalcoatl, the dragon god of the Aztecs. A final page introduces seven related creatures ranging from Draco, the star constellation, to the Komodo dragon, a living reptile from Indonesia. Gibbons's dragons are boisterous and impressive, but not frightening. Drawn in bold black ink and washed in rich colors and textures, these ebullient beasts are barely restrained by the skewed portals in abstracted stone and earth colors that frame the pictures. Karl Shuker's Dragons (S & S, 1995) is a similar catalog for older readers, describing the same five classes and individual dragons in much greater detail. Both Demi's Dragons & Fantastic Creatures (Holt, 1995) and Graeme Base's The Discovery of Dragons (Abrams, 1996) rely more on the authors' imaginations than folklore. Gibbons's book entertains readers as it teaches them something about history and literature, and proves "What mysterious and changeable beasts they [the dragons] were."-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA Copyright 1999 School Library Journal Reviews
A carefully researched, dazzling compendium by a best-selling author and illustrator explains how myths about dragons developed, different types of dragons, what draconologists do, how different cultures portray dragons, and why they are still so fascinating today.Review by Publisher Summary 2
Explains how myths about dragons developed, different types of dragons, what draconologists do, and how different cultures portray dragonsReview by Publisher Summary 3
Explains how myths about dragons developed, different types of dragons, what draconologists do, and how different cultures portray dragons.Review by Publisher Summary 4
We don't believe in dragons anymore, but we continue to celebrate these fantastic creatures in stories, movies and songs. In fact dragons are so popular there is a science just to study them! In a book that is carefully researched, brimming with energy and charm, and full of interesting facts, best-selling author and illustrator Gail Gibbons presents dragons from cultures all over the world -- their origins, their place in mythology and folktales, and the reasons why they are still so fascinating today.