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Dragonory is a collection of folk and fairy tales from around the world compiled by story teller supremo Pie Corbett. Some of the stories are retold by Pie, but there are lots which are by other story tellers if Corbett doesn’t float your boat.

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The stories are designed for seven to nine year olds, either to read alone or aloud. The way they are written, however, is very much aimed at them being read aloud. Quite a lot of the stories are prefaced with traditional story teller openings and endings, which are part of the oral rather than the read tradition, and it is true that they are excellent fun to read aloud.

This has been another one of Oscar’s reading books this term. When he arrived home with it, I was slightly daunted. It is fairly long for a reading book (about 180 pages), and some of the words and concepts in the stories are tricky. There are lots of made up words, difficult to pronounce words etc. I thought he would get bogged down in the stories, and bored by them, which is not something you want when you’re trying to enthuse a child about the magic of reading.

I cannot tell you how wrong I was to worry.

Firstly, the length of each story means that even if you don’t like a tale, you won’t be reading it for too long. The shortest come in at a couple of pages, the longest at about twenty. The subject matter is very diverse too, so there is plenty to entertain. The stories have lots of humour and adventure, and are all nicely paced so that you are drawn along through the narrative, actively wanting to find out the punch line, or what happens next.

We ate this book up. It was an absolute joy to read. Oscar read me two stories every night until it was done, and by the end of it, the whole family were sitting around to listen and share the tales. It made Oscar feel pretty special that he was able to keep us all entertained like that and did wonders for his reading confidence.

There were tricky words he stumbled over, but we figured them out and he was more than willing to tackle them because he was as sucked into the stories as we were.

We enjoyed it so much I am actually going to buy a copy of this book for home.

As the title says, these stories are aimed at seven to nine year olds. I’d say they would work equally well up to the age of twelve. I would also say they would be perfect for bed time reading for younger children or for reading in class if you’re doing a topic on folk or fairy tales. They work equally well for boys and girls and the whole book is an absolute delight.

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