Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon

Ute Krause’s Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon is a tasty treat of a tale about a boy who outwits a dragon through the unusual tactic of gourmet cooking. Publishers Weekly: “When no princesses are available . . . young Oscar, a schoolboy in a T-shirt and backwards baseball cap, is sent instead [to placate the local dragon]. The dragon is outraged at Oscar’s tininess, so the boy offers to fatten himself up, requesting kitchen equipment and groceries. Oscar has a gift for cooking, and although he has gained weight, he fools the dragon into believing otherwise (‘Oscar, who had learned a thing or two from listening to fairy tales, quickly held out the cooking spoon to the nearsighted dragon’). After much protesting, the dragon caves and tries human food. Of course, the two end up opening a restaurant. It’s a neat amalgam of fairy tale elements with a little Top Chef thrown in. Krause’s pacing is brisk and her tone sure. In her competent hands, the background scenery — lopsided half-timbered cottages, Oscar’s kitchen-in-a-cage, and the restaurant they open together (with bathroom signs that show a male dragon standing and a lady dragon seated) — becomes an integral part of the entertainment.” Giggle factor: high. Adult enjoyment: moderate to high, depending on how much you like fine dining. Illustrations: four jelly jars. Also see The Paper Bag Princess and The Knight and the Dragon.

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~ by kaychubbuck on May 29, 2011.

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