Matilda and the Dragon

Julian Burnside, Author, Bettina Guthridge, Illustrator Allen & Unwin Australia $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-86373-127-0
One night Matilda slips from the house and whirls off on a madcap adventure, captured here in bubbling if not especially original rhyming verse. Finding a fireman's pole, the young insomniac descends, rather rapidly, to who knows where (``Imagine poor Matilda's plight, / Plunging down into the night'') and emerges into a bright land of ``toffee trees with chocolate leaves.'' There she spies a snappily dressed dragon, who, excited at the prospect of company, invites her to tea, followed by a merry jaunt under the sea. But, in the tradition of such tales, the fun must end, this time with father ``saying softly, `Did you scream? / You must have had a dreadful dream.' '' Downright silly and mined with corny rhymes, this tale is at least exuberant: the reader might wonder how Matilda breathes underwater, but will soon dismiss such thoughts as inconsequential. Guthridge's artwork is reminiscent of Tony Ross's in its boundless energy and zany looseness, but her figures are a little bolder, a touch spikier. Her eye for comic detail is especially noticeable, and it unlooses the mirth in the text. Ages 4-8. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/03/1993
Release date: 05/01/1993
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-86373-144-7
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