A Moral Tale to Read Aloud
TCA Avni
TUCK-A-TUCK DRAGON by JL Morin. Illustrated by Stephan Theo & Nicole Theo Harvard Square Editions, 2021, 60 pp., $ 16.99
July 2021, volume 45, No 7

Arhyming story meant as a ‘diverse children’s book’, Tuck-a-Tuck Dragon is supposed to be about ‘overcoming childhood fears’, through the tale of a ‘boring tan dragon who wins the respect of his colourful peers when he faces his fears and realizes his special gift’. The story itself is about a romping playdate between colorful dragons.

It begins with the initial ‘othering’of the ‘boring’ Tan Dragon and winds its way through its colour-splashed pages to his winning over his peers by his eventual triumphant achievement of facing an uncomfortable situation.  A strength of this book for little children is how it presents the often-petty behaviour of young ones, and the casually hurtful way in which they can interact, even with accepted members being subjected to jeering and cutting behaviour. The story meanders through the dragons’ play, with them eventually settling down to a traditional end to any children’s get-together by telling tales to scare each other for fun. And what scares dragons the most? It is children! Because ‘babies throw tantrums, as everyone knows!’  The climax of the story is when the ‘last picked for teams’ Tan Dragon is sent to deal with a wailing baby, and how our hero, Tan Dragon, overcomes his fear, to settle both baby and the other dragons to sleep.

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