Ellie's Dragon
Bob Graham
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
ISBN: 9781406387629
Awards Year: 2021
Category: Picture Book of the Year
The publishers say...

No friendship is imaginary. 

When Ellie is very little, she finds a newborn dragon fresh from the egg on a supermarket shelf, and calls him Scratch. He is quite the sweetest thing she has ever seen! From that day on, Ellie and Scratch do everything together. Ellie's mum and her teacher can’t see her fiery friend, but all her friends can – and, over the years, Ellie's dragon grows to be big, house-trained, and very affectionate. And Ellie is growing, too... A moving story about the wonders of imagination and the nature of growing up from one of Australia’s most revered bookmakers. 

The author says...
Ellie’s Dragon has been a long time in the making. It is about growing up, not just as I see it through the kids around me today but back past our grandchildren, our own Naomi and Pete and further to my early beginnings over 70 years ago. It is less about 'imagination' or 'imaginary friends', more, (for me at least as everyone reads things in their own way) about a transition, taking steps forward as I am still hopefully doing today.
Ellie’s dragon is real enough to her, but some realities change, others lie embedded like seeds and re sprout over time. I allowed her that in her teens as 'still smelling smoke over the fence'.
I also allowed her her mum and dad to get quietly back together on the back endpapers at the supermarket checkout.
Why? Because I could!
What powers we authors and illustrators have.
The CBCA judges say...

Graham literally bookends this book with endpapers that introduce and complete the story, beginning in what appears to be an ordinary supermarket. The high-production value of these endpapers make the reader inquisitive about the journey Ellie and her dragon Scratch go on together. The minimal text gives space to the artwork and design to provide additional information about the characters and the plot development. Scratch is endearingly characterised as he grows, first in Ellie’s loving care and then without her. The visual device of transparency is used as a metaphor for growing up. Lovely characterisation of the mum, who is happy to simply accept Scratch as an imaginary friend; and the humour of dad and his extra passenger is so well placed to add further involvement and understanding of the characters.

The Reading Time reviewers say...
Click here to read the Reading Time review.
Teaching Notes for this book...

The publisher has generously made teaching notes available for this book. Click on the icon below to view these resources.