You can do a lot with a Mini-Dragon. But even if it turns up in your dinner, it’s best not to take a bite out of it.
I enjoyed Tom Nicoll’s book debut very much. There’s a Dragon in my Dinner! is probably most suited for seven or eight-year-olds, but it worked really well for me too. It’s not every day you find a nice, easy to read, book for young (dare I say it?) boys, that is truly entertaining for the adult reader as well, while being both intelligently written and fun.
The Mini-Dragon turns up in the beansprouts, when the Crisp (yeah, I know) family orders a Chinese for dinner. Young Eric finds he doesn’t like beansprouts, which may be why he didn’t order any. But he quite likes Pan, the Mini-Dragon, although not to the extent that he eats him. (His little sister tries that…)
It can be fun to have a new friend who is only the size of a spring roll, one who has a lot of conversation and is good at all sorts of things. Pan sleeps in Eric’s sock drawer (by sheer coincidence I’d thought a lot about sock drawers just before reading this book), and when he doesn’t eat mountain goats, he eats school uniform.
How to introduce your friends and family to a Mini-Dragon though? It’s hard. And the dreadful boy next door? Even worse.
But all in all, just as well Pan didn’t end up in Mexico the way his parents had planned.
(Illustrated by Sarah Horne, who obviously has some experience of beansprout dragons.)