Ned is the one and only child in the village. He is a little knight who likes to say ‘Yes’ and to do what he is told straight away, be it washing up, picking up cabbages or obeying orders to go indoors when the dragon arrives.
Then Ned wakes up on the morning:
‘He felt quite odd: all hot inside,
And cross from top to toe.
He shook his head from side to side
And then Ned answered…NO’
This prickly feeling lasts all day with Ned testing out the power of ‘No’ well into the night when he refuses to go inside and hide from the dragon, with surprising results.
His friendship with the dragon helps those angry, prickly, lonely feelings to disappear for the moment. The story is not preachy but Ned learns that there is a time for ‘Yes’ and a time for ’No’ and that it is OK to have those prickly cross feelings. I also like the hint at Ned’s developing empathy when he has an inkling that the dragon might be all alone like him.
Lucy Rowland’s text is written in rhyme with a lively rhythm that children will enjoy listening to, anticipating the next line and joining in. The language is rich. This is a book to be read, re-read and enjoyed! Kate Hindley’s distinctive, colourful and bold illustrations have a vintage and folk art feel reminiscent of Pat Hutchins. They beautifully capture Ned’s world, his changing moods and his relationship with the dragon.
The book also has a QR code for a free audio reading.
ISBN 978 1 78800 208 0
Return to REVIEWS HOMEPAGE