________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 18 . . . .May 13, 2005


A Treasure at Sea for Dragon and Me: Water Safety for Kids (and Dragons).

Jean E. Pendziwol. Illustrated by Martine Gourbault.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2005.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $6.95 (pbk.), $17.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55337-880-6 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55337-721-4 (cl.).

Subject Heading:
Aquatic sports-Safety measures-Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.

Review by Harriet Zaidman.

**** /4


The dragon stood poised and was ready to leap,
But he hadn't checked first if the water was deep.
"Dragon! Don't jump! It's shallow!" I said,
"Don't dive off this dock or you might hurt your head!


Water safety seems to be more important than ever before, now that every community, every hotel and resort has water attractions. It's not good enough to wear a life jacket; people need to know how to swim and how to avoid getting into danger in water. The admonition that parents should be within arm's length of their children will help save young lives.

     A Treasure at Sea for Dragon and Me is yet another way to inculcate the lessons about water safety to young children. Jean Pendziwol has written a bouncy rhyming story about a little girl and her imaginary anthropomorphic dragon as they set off for a great day of fun at the beach.

     Pendziwol isn't preachy. The educative material is built around an engaging tale in which the intrepid protagonist and her impulsive reptile friend do what children at the beach always do make believe adventurous scenarios and work up healthy appetites.

Two swashbuckling pirates, all sandy and hot,
We finally stopped over X marks the spot.
A treasure of crackers, cheese and cold meat,
Lemonade, pears and a sweet chocolate treat.
Pirates we are, an unruly bunch,
But even a pirate gets hungry for lunch.

     Martine Gourbault's pencil crayon drawings represent just what children would envision about this kind of activity. She draws a happy setting and serious adventurers. The pages that show water safety lessons demonstrate the potential dangers appropriately.

     Parents, classroom or swimming teachers who are looking for clever ways to teach and reinforce water safety lessons will find this book very useful and pleasing for children. At the end of the book. the dragon has a rhyme that includes the water safety rules which young children can memorize. A checklist of rules and common sense responses is listed, as well as the reminder for parents that parents and guardians are the "responsible for being alert when children are playing in or near water = any water" which includes backyard plastic pools and bathtubs.

Highly Recommended.

Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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