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The Dragon Machine Hardcover – May 26, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 9 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; First Edition edition (May 26, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525471146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525471141
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,080,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4-George sees dragons everywhere he looks, but they are "ignored and overlooked," just like he is. He likes the creatures, and feeds them, but soon becomes weary of cleaning up after them. He goes to the library in search of a solution, finds a map, and proceeds to build a machine to help him lead the beasts back to where they belong. The child's parents, who are never pictured, finally notice that he is gone, find him, and celebrate his return with a cake and a new dog- or is it a dog? Anderson uses color in the soft paintings to reinforce the emotions of this little boy who blends into the background of the pictures and his world. He and his dragons appear in muted tones while the details around them are often brightly colored. The creatures are appealing and mischievous but George seems to fade even as he takes action to deal with his problem. The huge flying dragon he builds is dark and sinister, and George flies it into a desolate setting. The illustrations brighten when his parents find him, and become lighter still when he is home and "no longer ignored or overlooked." This book is unsettling and a bit heavy-handed, but children will enjoy the dragons, the humor, and the upbeat twist at the end.
Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-3, younger for reading aloud. The creators of The Tin Forest (2001) reunite for another atmospheric tale. Only lonely George notices the dragons large and small, hanging from telephone lines, peeking from storm drains and pocketbooks. Worse yet, once he feeds them, they become real nuisances, following him everywhere: "Something had to be done." With information gleaned from The Encyclopedia of Dragons, he learns where they belong, builds a complex flying machine, and leads them back to their wilderness home. Using diffuse colors and stippled textures reminiscent of Peter Sis' art, Anderson creates a diaphanous green-and-golden world inhabited by small George; smiling, tubby, bat-winged dragons; and a sprinkling of adults who are generally shown only from waist down. When George's flyer crashes in the dragons' land, his newly attentive parents rescue him, and then present him with a "dog," whose spiked tail only George seems to see. George's feelings of isolation are strongly captured in the art, and the book's typeface and page design give this slightly tongue-in-cheek escapade an appealingly elegant look. John Peters
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Thao on March 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm sure that the folks who hand out the Caldacott didn't see or read this book since it wasn't even a Caldacott Honor book for last year. As a former employee of a national book store chain who worked in the children's area, I've seen a lot of not so good picture books that get published anyway. I can say that this is one of the best picture books I've seen in a long time. Not only are the illustations done beautifully, but the story is well written. It is not so wordy that you don't want to read it at night and not too short that you have to have a back up book. This book should be a classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Orbanic on June 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is beautifully illustrated. I can't even begin to understand why it would be out of print. I ordered

a used copy, and was beyond happy with what I got. It's a cute story about a boy who starts to see dragons.

He begins to feed them, and brings them into his home, which later he finds out is the last thing you should ever

do. The little dragons make foot prints and brake things that the little boy has to take the blame for. He then

builds a mechanical dragon. He plans on flying the mechanical dragon in hopes of leading all the dragons to

a safe desert home. The story is written simple so that even young kids can enjoy it, and the beautiful artwork will captivate the older kids as well. The art alone puts the book in my top ten most beautifully illustrated books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ed Fries on December 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have read literally hundreds of books to my son over the last three years and this is one of the very best. The art is beautiful and the text is very rich without being wordy. Don't miss this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on October 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
Every once in a while, a picture book comes along with staggeringly good illustrations.

"The Dragon Machine" is one such.

The oversize format and the soft, smudgy sketches combine to draw you deep into the illustrations, to put you into the story. It's a different world. It's yours, through the pages of this book.

Get it.

Get it for your child with an imaginary friend.
Get it for your child who notices the things most people miss.
Get it for your child who has a secret dreamworld.
Get it for your child who can make or do or build anything.
Get it for your child who is a little lonely.
Get it for your child who is being heroic.
Get it for your child who befriends everything.
Get it for your child who keeps quietly to himself or herself.
Get it for your child who likes to imitate dragons.
Get it for your child, and share it together.

You won't regret this purchase.
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