Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon
Illustrated by Debbie Harter
Ages 3 to 6
Barefoot Books, 1999, 1-9022-8336-8
In the forest of Nogard there is a castle whose inhabitants are constantly being harassed by a pack of wild meat-eating dragons. The dragons are particularly partial to eating sweet and tender princesses but they are not picky and are a real nuisance. In the same forest there lives a different kind of dragon. This dragon, Herb, is a vegetarian and he spends his time quietly tending his garden and playing with a little girl who is his good friend.
The people who live in the castle finally get fed up with the dragon raids and decide that the time has come to put an end to their wicked ways. The meat-eating dragons hear about the threat they face and go into hiding. Herb however has no idea what is going on and soon finds himself in the castle prison facing execution. What is the poor dragon to do now?
This charmingly silly tale shows its readers that we cannot go about trying to dictate to others how they should live their lives. Instead we need to show understanding and tolerance towards one another and find a way that we can all live together in peace. Debbie Harter's bright and stylistic art beautifully shows off how foolish conflict can be and emphasizes the gentle and loveable nature of Herb.
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