One Dragon’s Dreamis a counting book written and illustrated by Peter Pavey. On the surface it illustrates the numbers one to ten, but there is a strong visual narrative that works far beyond the deceptively simple text. The story is bookended by a page with the numbers one to ten arranged in a grid. Each opening then features a sentence and a number. The central story may refer to eg ‘three tigers…’ but there are myriad examples of that number to be found in the detailed illustrations. Illustrations are pen and ink with colour washes.
One Dragon’s Dream was originally published in 1978, and is released in 2009 as part of Walker Book’s Classic Series. The illustration style is reminiscent of Ron Brook’s ‘John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat’ but there is a delightful whimsy in Peter Pavey’s depiction of the dragon and his dream. There is safety for the timid reader in the scenes of dragon going to bed and then at the end of his dream, waking up in that same bed. There is a delightful mix of fantasy and realism in each opening. Readers will enjoy searching out all the collections that relate to the featured number. This is a lovely book, perfect for reading over and over. It’s easy to understand how it was awarded the Children’s Picture Book of the Year in 1980. Highly recommended for 3-5 year olds.
One Dragon’s Dream, Peter Pavey
Walker Books 2009
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
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