Not Your Typical Dragon is written by Dan Bar-el and illustrated by Tim Bowers. It is the story of a young dragon named Crispin. The story opens with him anticipating his birthday and being able to finally breathe fire. He soon realizes that he is unable to breathe fire and instead seems to breathe the thing most necessary at the time. For instance, when his father takes him to the doctor to try and figure out what is wrong with him he breathes bandaids instead of fire. The nurse quickly says how they have been in need of bandaids. Crispin continues to find himself unable to breathe fire and eventually decides that because of this he will disappoint everyone and so he needs to run away. When he runs away he encounters and knight named Sir George. Sir George and Crispin soon become friends because Sir George has to fight a fire breathing dragon but is afraid to and Crispin is unable to breathe fire. Sir George and Crispin try many different things to see if they can teach Crispin to breathe fire but ultimately fail. However, these attempts are humorous and would be entertaining to young children. Crispin brings his new friend, Sir George, home with him. Crispin’s father gets very upset and begins to breathe fire over everything and cannot stop. Crispin is able to stop the fire because he breathes what is most needed at the time, water. The story ends with Cripsin’s next birthday and his father saying that Crispin is not your typical dragon, he is something special.
This book is a humorous story that could also be helpful to children who are struggling in school or at home because they feel different. It does a good job of using a silly situation to help young readers see that it is okay to be different and have unique talents. Ultimately, Crispin learns that his talents are helpful and that he is needed. The illustrations are colorful and humorous. The characters emotions are very well expressed and I believe that young children would be very amused with this book. I think that it could be helpful to parents or teachers in explaining that it is okay to be different and stand out from other people. It uses a good balance of humor and real emotions to allow for young children to connect with Crispin. I think this book should be used with younger children, pre-k to first graders. The writing style would agree with this, however some vocabulary may have to be explained. Overall, it is an enjoyable book with a good ending moral message.