No Dragons for Tea:
Fire Safety for Kids (And Dragons)

by Jean Pendziwol, Martine Gourbault,
32 pages,
ISBN: 1550745697

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Children`s Books
by Erin Banting

Who better to demonstrate the importance of fire-safety to kids than a fire-breathing dragon? This is Jean Pendziwol's candidate of choice in her first picture book, No Dragons for Tea, as she takes kids through the safety fundamentals.

On her way to the beach, a little girl literally runs into a dragon. As he seems quite the polite creature, she invites him to spend the day at the beach: "He had a cute bear and some other toys too;/ With my shovel and pail we'd have oodles to do."

After a tremendous day with her new friend, she convinces her mother to let the dragon come over for tea. However, problems begin the moment they sprinkle pepper on their lovely lunch and the dragon sneezes: "Well...we all know what happens when dragons `a-choo.'/ Flames shot from his mouth and from both nostrils too."

Luckily our little girl knows her fire-safety rules. Even when the dragon gets scared and tries to hide under the living room rug, she drags him out and tells him that "when there's fire, we must get outside." And even after she takes the dragon to join her mother at the designated meeting place and he tries to run back in for his bear, she declares:

Listen, Dragon, here's what you should know:

Don't ever go back-that just will not do.

We can get a new bear, but we can't replace you.

One of the most important aspects of this book is the fire-safety recap on the last pages. `The Dragon's Fire-Safety Rhyme' summarizes the lessons that the little girl and the dragon learn during their adventure. The rhyme for children is followed by a note to guardians and parents and a fire-safety checklist which is designed to facilitate an open dialogue with children about what to do in case of fire.

The message in this book is presented in a fun, clear, and informative way. The rules of fire-safety are emphasized through the amusing narrative and dialogue, the brilliantly detailed and playful illustrations, and the simple fire-safety checklist that kids can even memorize on their own. 


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