Saturday, February 23, 2019

Review - Sir Small and the Dragonfly

Sir Small and the Dragonfly (Sir Small)
by Jane O'Connor
illustrated by John O'Brien
Date: 1988
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

"The tallest person is no taller than a toothpick in the town of Pee Wee, and when Lady Teena is abducted by a dragonfly, a tiny knight, riding his trusty ant, rescues the miniature maiden. This is a hit--an engagingly humorous storyline (set in very large type) features simple words and only a sentence or two per page."--Booklist.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This book is by Jane O'Connor, the author of the Fancy Nancy series, which I've been enjoying lately. I thought I'd give this book a try to see what it was like. It's much older, being published in 1988... and it shows.

The story is kind of dated, and it manages to reinforce negative stereotypes of a number of marginalized groups. Women need to be rescued. Old people are useless. So are fat people. Reading it through a 21st-century lens, it just doesn't work.

The pictures are kind of boring and a little bit silly. The people are drawn in one style (when they're not in closeup, they remind me of old-school Fisher-Price Little People), while the dragon is so cartoonish that it doesn't really seem to fit.

I didn't like the story, which is a basic "girl needs rescuing" tale. For a fun story with dragon kidnapping that turns the trope on its head, I'd recommend Robert Munsch's The Paper Bag Princess instead.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 1.67 out of 5

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