The Star Dragon Book One WANTED Confident Kids to Save the World from Darkness, by David Machin is a thrilling and adventurous story where you become the main character in the adventure. Your mission is to save the planet and restore color back to your world.
This book was sitting on my desk waiting for me to read it and review it when my fourth grader son saw it and instantly was drawn to the cover. What boy would not be drawn to the cover with the large red dragon holding a crystal on it? Of course, he picked it up and asked if he could read it. He sat down and started reading and did not get back up again until he was done (66 pages later). His first question to me was, “where’s the next challenge? I need to earn more ribbons to save the planet.” He was hooked and ready for book two.
You can watch the video below to see his review of the story…
I would have to agree with my son when he gives the book five stars. In fact, I felt the book was an excellent read. I enjoyed the story and I loved the illustrations of the book. The pictures are very “older kid” friendly in that they are life like and use real people as the characters. I also think it is neat how the illustrations start off in color and then go to black and white when the color is lost from the world. Then as color slowly returns some of the illustrations have a pop of color.
My favorite part about the book is that children actually become part of the book and that the book is interactive – asking the reader to make decision. From the first sentence the reader is thrown into the story… “Something wakes you in the night and you look out of the window.” From the start you know this book is exciting because you are part of the story. Throughout the story you are asked to make decisions. In many parts of the story the reader must make a choice. Based on the reader’s choice, the story details the consequences of the choices. This encourages critical thinking from the reader and also makes them feel part of the story.
Below you can hear my son reading a part of the story that asks the reader to make a choice.
If you make a wrong choice, you read a passage and tells you why this would be the wrong choice and then the book asks you to go back and choose again. At one point of the story you must choose a mode of transportation. My son, choose to ride an elephant and soon found his choice was wrong because all of the water it would take to keep the elephant moving. He went back and choose the correct for of transportation but was amazed what he learned about the water an elephant consumes.
I have to agree with David Machin when he states; “Storytelling is probably the most effective way to teach behavioral concepts to young children. They are influenced by the characters and the plot.” As a teacher, I have often used Children’s books to introduced kids to behavioral concepts. Kids just get it better from a story. David does an excellent job of teaching behavioral concepts such as; teamwork, goal setting, putting others first, and the importance of listening through The Star Dragon book.
I very much enjoyed the book and look forward to the sequel. I would recommend it to be read independently by kids in third, fourth, and fifth grades. Children in this age groups would understand the concepts and be able to read the text independently. I would also consider reading this to first and second graders in a group setting where an adult can go over the concepts and ideas as the story is read aloud. It’s not always easy to find Children’s books that have life lessons written into the text; but the Star Dragon is one of those gems that teaches life lessons through a story kids enjoy and want to hear/read more of.
David Machin is one of the founders of Human Bean (Preparing Children for Success). You can visit the website at : http://www.humanbean.com/default.htm
You can find some free online books on the site as well! I just finished reading Timmy Tuna to both my 10 and 6 year-olds and they both enjoyed this story about Teamwork – the benefits of working together to achieve more. You too can check out this free story at: http://www.humanbean.com/teamwork.htm This would be great to slap up on your Smartboard at school to discuss how working together as a team is beneficial. I would suggest this e-book for grades K, first, second and third grades.
Disclosure: The author offered Teaching Heart copies of the book in exchange of a review. But the opinions posted in this post are true.
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