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Dragons: Legends and Lore of the Dinosaurs Review by Jennifer Harrison

By Bodie Hodge
New Leaf Publishing Group
PO Box 726
Green Forest, AR 72638

Nearly every culture throughout history includes some version of a dragon legend. These mesmerizing creatures have been shrouded in mystery and placed firmly on the shelf of fantasy. But with so many accounts from such different sources, including the Bible, can the existence of dragons be dismissed so easily? This interactive book explores the legends--from flying serpents to sea serpents, from serpents that breathe fire to serpents that breathe ice--exploring ancient texts in an effort to separate fact from fiction.

Dragons reads like a beautiful lapbook; it is filled with windows, pockets, and mini-books that let readers delve into the tangled history of dragons. It is intended for ages 9 to 12 but is enjoyable for all ages. Readers traverse the globe as they ponder the flying dragons of North America, epic dragons of Europe, revered dragons of Asia, sacred dragons in South America, enigmatic dragons in Africa, and the water dragons of Australia.

I was fascinated by the sheer number of dragon stories in existence. I knew that dragon-like creatures were mentioned in the Bible a couple of times, but I had no idea that dragons are in fact mentioned 22 times in the Old Testament, 24 if you are reading the Geneva Bible. An apocryphal account shares the story of Daniel in the den of lions but also includes a legend about Daniel killing a sacred dragon. Many other stories are shared, some familiar and some completely new to me. These include the famous legends of saints and dragons, accounts from Marco Polo and St. John of Damascus, as well as the lore of the Loch Ness Monster and of Beowulf. Translations, dragon names, and symbolism are also covered amidst the beautiful pictures and artwork.

The binding is covered with a thin paper that did tear easily, and I did run across a few grammatical errors, but all in all, I found the book to be very reasonably priced on Amazon. This would make a beautiful gift for any dragon lover or fan of fantasy. It also makes an interesting study for anyone studying ancient history or dinosaurs.

Product review by Jennifer Harrison, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2011