Jane and the Dragon

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Jane and the Dragon Book Poster Image
Girl-knight story is predictable but enchanting.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Strong girl character trades sewing needles for a armor.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that breaking out of expected roles is the challenge here. It's all positive and kid-friendly ... and not just for girls!

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Adult Written byjmlsel April 9, 2008

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What's the story?

When Jane says she wants to be a knight, everyone laughs at her, that is, except for the court jester. She does not let that stop her. Whenever she gets the chance, she practices, secretly watching and learning from the real knights. One day, she gets her chance and does the unexpected.

Is it any good?

This cute little story matches a spunky girl character, a wistful jester, and a confused dragon with a challenging message to do the unexpected. The outcome is predictable, but it's an enchanting tale all the same. With her wild red hair billowing out from under her helmet, the armored Jane shows a kind of good-hearted, undaunted spirit that is meant to inspire. Still, she feels like just one of us. We expect her to make mistakes, get herself in trouble, and come out a hero in the end.

Author Martin Baynton hoped to "reverse the treatment of fairytale heroines," and he has succeeded with Jane. His colored-pencil drawings are soft, yet strong just like his main character. And his message is a good one.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about expectations and stereotypes. What are stereotypes, and why do we care so much about them? Have you ever wanted to do something or be something that is different from what everyone else expects?

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