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Reviewed by Amy Raines for Readers' Favorite
Dragon Rake, written by Victor Sharpe and illustrated by Danielle Mathews, is the story of a dragon, the last of his kind, that likes his back to be scratched every day. The villagers in the valley below had to decide who should scratch Worzel’s back each day, selecting only the bravest person to do the task. Worzel blew fire and made sounds that scared the villagers so much that the mayor decided to have a meeting about the scary monster and what they should do about him. A young villager named Oswald volunteered to scratch the dragon’s back with the specially built rake because he had a lot of questions for the dragon. Would the mayor accept Oswald’s request? What does the young boy want to know? Will the dragon answer Oswald or just get angry? Is the dragon the mean and angry monster the villagers think he is?
I loved Dragon Rake by Victor Sharpe. The plot is smooth and easy for children to comprehend and enjoy as they read about the angry, itchy dragon and the villagers. The characters are fun and easy for kids to relate as Oswald asks the questions that nobody wants to help him with. The illustrations by Danielle Mathews are adorable as they help tell the story by leading children through their own imaginations. I love how Sharpe addresses the issue of judging others based on appearance and minor behavior problems by portraying an age-old monster with temperament issues who seems to bully the villagers. I recommend Dragon Rake to anyone who has children of any age. There is a lot to learn about compassion, communication, and friendship from this story.