Aug 24, 2011
The Pet Dragon
The Pet Dragon: A Story about Adventure, Friendship, and Chinese Characters by Christoph Niemann
Lin is a young chinese girl who received a baby dragon as a gift. Lin and her pet dragon did everything together: played hide-and-seek, made new friends, played ping-pong, and put on puppet shows. One day, while playing soccer inside the house, Lin and her dragon broke a vase, so her father placed the dragon in a cage. The next day the cage was empty and Lin was heartbroken. She looked everywhere but couldn't find her dragon. She came to a river and ran into a witch who asked for her help to get across. Lin carried the witch on her shoulders all the way across the river and to thank her, the witch became a giant and helped Lin reach above the clouds. Up there, Lin found her dragon, all grown up, playing with other dragons. The dragon carried Lin back home, and her father, happy to have his daughter back, promised them they could always play together.
There is something very cool about The Pet Dragon, because Christoph Niemann uses the story as a vehicle to introduce Chinese characters. Each page has a couple of them incorporated into the illustrations and with their meanings underneath them. The first page of the book offers a letter from the author with a brief explanation about the use of Chinese characters. A good book to introduce children to chinese culture and to include in the multicultural classroom.