________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 2. . . .September 12, 2014


Do You Know Komodo Dragons? (Do You Know?).

Alain M. Bergeron, Michel Quintin & Sampar. Illustrated by Sampar. Translated by Solange Messier.
Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2014.
64 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-55455-339-6.

Subject Headings:
Komodo dragon - Juvenile literature.
Graphic novels.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Robert Groberman.

*** /4



During their first few years, young Komodo dragons must take shelter in trees in order to escape the cannibalism of their elders. They are safe high up in the trees because adult Komodo dragons cannot climb.


Do You Know Komodo Dragons? by Alain M. Bergeron, Michel Quinton and Sampar is part of the “Do You Know?” series of books, all written to introduce beginning readers to a variety of animals. This volume was originally published in French and translated into English by Solange Messier.

internal art     Through 64 pages of full-colour cartoons by Sampar, readers are introduced to fascinating, if sometimes grotesque, facts about the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard which can grow to be “over 3 metres (10 feet) in height and weigh 160 kilograms (350 pounds.)” Young readers are attracted to comic illustrations and ‘gross out’ facts. This writing/illustrating team is expert at the task of introducing early readers to animal facts about appearance, habitat, diet, reproduction, and hunting technique.

     I might warn future readers of this volume that the attack facts are graphic, such as a cartoon of a Komodo that “shakes its prey’s intestines to void them of their contents before eating them.” In the accompanying cartoon, a mother Komodo says: “You couldn’t have done that in the garage, dear?” and the child Komodo responds: “Gross.” The head of the dead animal sits on the kitchen table.

     Do You Know Komodo Dragons? is a colourful, memorable introduction to a little-known animal. It is full of new language introduced in an attractive way.


Robert Groberman is a grade one teacher at Katzie Elementary School in Surrey, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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