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