Review Blog

Dec 07 2016

Zog and the flying doctors by Julia Donaldson

cover image

Ill. by Axel Scheffler. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781407164953
(Age: 4-6) Recommended. Princess Pearl, Gadabout the Great and Zog the helpful dragon fly across the kingdom assisting the sick. The flying doctors have special roles: 'Princess Pearl gives medicine, pills and vaccinations, while Gad the knight is an expert at field operations.' Zog the dragon is happy to ferry them to the ailing animals and creatures but unfortunately, he needs a little practice in landing. They assist a sunburnt mermaid, a unicorn with an extra horn and a lion suffering from the flu. Here Zog lights a warm fire to keep his cave warm and Pearl administers a special pill to stop his symptoms.
When Pearl and her friends visit her Uncle's castle, things change dramatically. Pearl is captured and locked up, allowed to sew pretty cushions and make floral arrangements, jobs suited to a princess. Zog and Gadabout try unsuccessfully to rescue her. When the king falls ill and none of the visiting doctors can make him better, it is time for Pearl to send her friends on a mission.
Julia Donaldson's rhyming text is easy to read, and children enjoy predicting the rhyming words - sneeze, cheese and unicorn, horn. When sharing this book with a young audience take time to stop at the scenes where Pearl is imprisoned. Ask them to think of the things that she will need to save her uncle. Astute readers will predict the importance of the Flying Doctor's previous stops.
Axel Scheffler's familiar illustrative style of working with ink, watercolours and coloured pencils brings the vibrant fantasy world to life. Hidden somewhere in the story is Donaldson and Scheffler's most famous character The Gruffalo.
Rhyllis Bignell

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Australian Children's Laureate 2018-2019
2018 Waterstones Children's shortlist
2018 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
2018 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
Blue Peter Book Award Shortlist 2018
The Costa Book Awards 2017
Best books 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster