East Dragon, West Dragon
By Robyn Eversole; illustrated by Scott Campbell
40 pages, ages 4 & up
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012
Themes: prejudices, courage, making friends
“East Dragon lived in a palace. West Dragon lived in a cave. East Dragon had golden scales. West Dragon was mossy green, with brown splotches on his belly.”
West Dragon can fly; East Dragon can’t. East Dragon can swim; West Dragon can’t. And each is sure the other is bigger, stronger and very, very fierce. They live on opposite sides of the world and they’ve never met. And they like it that way. So what happens when they finally meet?
Things I especially love about this book: the way illustrator Scott Campbell imbues each dragon with personality; the kachina-like dragon, the pizza and karaoke… and the way Robyn Eversole manages to bring two dragons together in a common cause.
Beyond the book: Chinese New Year is February 10 and there will be lots of dragon dances. Try drawing your own East Dragon, or grab some colorful plastic cups and make a dragonpuppet.
You can learn more about real dragons – komodo dragons – from San Diego Zoo, and check out this AnimalPlanet video.