There's No Such Thing as a Dragon
by Jack Kent (known for his syndicated comic strip King Aroo) is the hilarious story of Billy Bixbee who awakes one morning to find a dragon, the size of a kitten, on his bed. He pats the dragon on its head and its tail begins to wag. When Billy goes downstairs to tell his mom about the dragon, he hears, "There's no such thing as a dragon."
Billy returns to his room and ignores the dragon since there's no such thing. As Billy continues with his day, the dragon works very hard to make his presence known. It tries on Billy's pajamas, eats his pancakes, takes a nap and chases the bread truck. With great determination, Billy and his mom continue to ignore the presence of the dragon even though it has now grown from the size of a kitten to the size of the house. It's Billy who realizes that the dragon simply wants to be noticed and pats the dragon on the head. This allows the dragon to become smaller and once again the size of a kitten. With the dragon laying in mother's lap, she exclaims, "I don't mind dragons THIS size. Why did it have to grow so BIG?"
To which Billy replies, "I'm not sure, but I think it just wanted to be noticed."
This story brings Emmy great giggles! She enjoys the cartoon like illustrations and especially likes the page when the dragon chases the bread truck since the entire house goes with it. Whether Jack Kent realized it or not, he wrote a story that speaks to anyone who deals with the emotions of a young child on a daily basis. Parents and teachers alike will understand the dragon's determination to be noticed as it parallels the behavior of a child who MUST be seen and heard! This story reminds me that anything, whether it is an emotion or a problem, is much more manageable if we acknowledge it, rather than ignore it and allow it to grow bigger.
(Thanks, Carrie, for reminding me of this book and allowing the message of emotional connection to sink in even deeper!)
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