Preschool - grade 2 / Ages 4 - 7.
"What now?" I wonder.Young children love to let their imaginations soar, and Blair Drawson provides them with a character, an adventure and paintings that soar with the pleasure of flight. Drawson originally published Flying Dimitri in 1978 in a substantially different form. The new techniques employed by one of Canada's best-known illustrators, whose work appears regularly in magazines such as Esquire and the New Yorker, provide colourful, magical pictures which will draw young readers into journeying with Dimitri on his flight. The humorously depicted Martians, with their spinning wheels, the regal queen and the frightening yet pathetic dragon, will delight the children. The imaginative adventures, from playing with whales to rescuing a beautiful lady from a fire-breathing dragon, are told in a simple text format enhanced by large often full-page or double-paged illustrations.
"To Mars, Dimitri," whispers a whale. "Go to Mars."
While getting ready for bed, Dimitri looks at himself in the mirror and takes wing. Having flown out to the ocean to play with the great whales, he accepts their invitation and heads for Mars. There, he makes a heroic rescue of the Martian's beautiful queen, a captive of the dragon. The Martians are elated at the queen's return. Dimitri's question, "Are you my mother?" is left unanswered as he finds himself transported back home where his Dad is waiting to tuck him in.
Young children might question why Dimitri asks the queen if she is his mother and where Dimitri's mother is since only his dad is mentioned in the story. However, the warmth between Dimitri and his father and the comforts of home are strongly portrayed throughout the book. Flying Dimitri is an interesting and different addition to picture book collections for young readers.
Janice Foster is a teacher-librarian at Oakenwald School in Fort Garry School Division, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - MARCH 13, 1998.
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