Jack and the Disorganised Dragon. By Sharon Drew. Illustrated by Peter Adderley. The Dyscovery Centre. pound;5. www.dyscovery.co.uk. 0292 062 8222
Jack and the dragon exhibit typical traits of children with dyspraxia, dyslexia or attention deficit disorder, being rather uncoordinated and disorganised.
They realise this sets them apart from other people and can lead to teasing or reprimands; but as friends they work through their difficulties together and celebrate the positive, caring side of their characters.
Books like this have their place if they help children with difficulties or differences to feel they are not alone. However, they are more likely to empower children if they get their message across with greater subtlety.
Children who read this book themselves will also read the foreword, which outlines the aim to make them more positive about their difficulties.
Unfortunately, the body of the text is fairly pedestrian and the lax punctuation does not set a good example to children learning literacy skills. But there are winning elements, such as the repetition of Jack's falling and hitting his head at the start and end of his adventure, and the bold, colourful illustrations.
Teacher, Bardwell school, Bicester