Children's Bookwatch: August 2016
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575
The Health Shelf
Sloth the Lazy Dragon
Regan W. H. Macaulay, author
Alex Zgud, illustrator
Guardian Angel Publishing
9781616337612, $19.95 HC, www.amazon.com
9781616337629, $10.95 PB, www.GuardianAngelPublishing.com
"Sloth the Lazy Dragon" is a delightful health fable that teaches children the value of eating a balanced, healthy diet and regular exercise. It also teaches something about the value of trust, giving without expecting compensation, and respecting differences. Sloth was a lazy dragon who had stopped leaving his cave of treasures because it was too much trouble. He survived on eating stray goats who wandered into his cave. He became heavy and weak, unable to fly like a proper dragon. Sloth's secret was guessed by an unlikely ally, Radish the dwarf. Despite Sloth's fearful appearance, Radish confronted him with his poor health despite Sloth's ineffective threats . Sloth mistrusted Radish, whose brothers and sisters in the mountain feared Sloth. But Radish convinced him to allow him to help by bringing him healthy fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and lean fish to eat. Radish also taught the dragon simple strengthening exercises, gradually increasing their intensity. Finally one fine day the dragon was ready to fly again. Radish told Sloth: "You must continue with your diet and keep up your exercise, but you are a proper dragon again!" "I am forever grateful," Sloth replied with a bow.' In the end, Sloth decided to leave his gold and hoard of treasures to Radish and the other dwarves, from whom he had originally stolen them. "Sloth the Lazy Dragon" is enhanced by joyous, pastel, comic images of the dragon and his struggle to return to good dragon health. Children will adore the extreme indulgence of Sloth and the spunkiness of Radish. "Sloth the Lazy Dragon" is excellent health motivational reading for children ages 4-7.
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