04 October 2017 by Christina Barker
Title: Dragon Raises His Head (Stories of animal sign series)
Author: Xue Lin
Reviewer: Christina Barker
On the front cover, Dragon has just freed himself from the mountain and looks very happy.
I was interested to learn about the dragon kings that control the rain. It’s very selfish of the Jade Emperor to stop the rain just because he thought that only men could be emperors. I liked that the dragon decided to go against the emperors wishes and help out the people.
This story is a great story which helps bring everyone together and learn that helping others is a great thing to do. It’s also great for the children’s imaginations. Where does the dragon go once it’s in the sky? Does it have a dragon house in the clouds? Only your imagination can decide.
Reviewer: Taylor Brooker
This story immediately gripped me because it starts with Jade Emperor deciding to punish his people because he believed that only men could be Emperors, but Wu-Ze Tian had just become the Empress. It hooked me because I felt angry straight away that he’d punish people because a woman was in charge, and I think as soon as you feel emotion towards a book, you’re gripped and want to know more!
This book has mostly an orange and blue colour scheme, making it really pleasing visually, as they are complimentary colours. Orange represents the dragon, but as a colour it also represents energy and determination, something that Dragon and the people definitely had! As well as the rain, blue also symbolises loyalty and intelligence, which again, dragon and the people showed throughout.
Something that’s interesting about this book is that it shows how different Chinese dragons are to Western dragons. In the west, dragons are feared, with wings and the ability to breathe fire. In fairy tales, they’re depicted as evil, fire-breathing creatures that are sent to protect or guard something, and are willing to destroy anything that wishes to pass, thus making the human seem brave and heroic when they defeat it. On the other hand, Chinese dragons are worshipped and considered lucky, with the ability to control the weather and summon rain when needed for the agriculture. As agriculture has always been such a big part of Chinese society, dragons are therefore treated as deities, and not seen as something to be destroyed. The book shows how willing people are to repay the dragon for his kindness and intelligence, proving how well-respected dragons are.