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Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon Paperback – July 12, 2007
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-A decidedly moral tale involving a bevy of knights, damsels, and dragons, as well as a brave girl named Nicole. The only vegetarian dragon in a land full of carnivores, Herb peacefully tends his garden while others of his species munch on the castle's inhabitants. When the knights decide to catch and behead any dragons they can find, poor Herb is easily apprehended and imprisoned. He is about to be wrongly executed for the murders when Nicole steps in (and into his mouth) to prove his innocence. Using Herb as an example, the king makes a bargain with the rest of the dragons: if they agree to stop eating people, then the knights will stop hunting them. The carnivores agree, and there is a happy ending, as "dragons and people, meat-eaters and vegetarians, live together in peace and harmony." Some of the scenes are a little scary, especially the one in which Herb is tied down in preparation for beheading by a man in a black hood. However, the tone of the text remains light and the cartoon illustrations are humorous, with googly-eyed dragons and people being eaten without apparent pain. Herb is the goofiest dragon of all; he always seems to be gazing lovingly at some living thing. Lush with growing plants and green grass, the artwork is filled with details that readers will pore over.
Susan Marie Pitard, Weezie Library for Children, Nantucket Atheneum, MA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A magical read for all new readers, young and old; Herb's story tells the tale of the future." --Sir Paul McCartney
"Lush with growing plants and green grass, the artwork is filled with details that readers will pore over." --School Library Journal
"The book's case for vegetarianism and understanding of differences is further enhanced when accompanied by the author's Cooking With Herb: A Cookbook for Kids.... Amusing illustrations characterize both works; the recipes and safety tips in the cookbook will help kids enjoy cooking while learning good kitchen habits." --NAPRA Review
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I read this book, and love the basis of the storyline: Meathook eats meat, Herb the dragon doesn't. However, I found that the idea of the dragons eating humans was a bit much for me. I know Disney often has tragic/serious storylines about death and evil, but I was hoping for something more light-hearted. I mean, they captured Herb and planned to behead him. That was just a lot for me. Anyway, I know others won't mind this aspect of the story, but I did want to put this out there for others who may be like me. I'll be looking for another vegetarian book for kids. As the other popular one I've seen That's Why We Don't Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things is also a bit deep. Eventually I'm sure my daughter will learn about CAFOs and fish farms, but I don't necessarily think she needs to know about it as a toddler.