He has a hungry dragon who follows him everywhere.
Oliver has never really seen it, but it is always there
Rumbling and grumbling, and making people stare.
When I'm hungry, really hungry, it's a toad that croaks in my stomach. For Oliver, it's not a toad. It's a big, persistent dragon.
One that growls everyday. One that growls just when Oliver needs to be quiet at the library or the church. One that isn't easily appeased. (Apples just don't cut it.)
When Oliver goes to school, he is miserable when Hunger the Dragon starts to rumble and grumble again. What will make this dragon go away? Is Oliver the only kid having hunger trouble? What can the others do?
The illustrations and rhymes for this otherwise heavy topic are wonderful and highly enjoyable. For me, Oliver's Hunger Dragon sends the age-old message to children everywhere, children who are going through hunger trouble, children who might feel helpless and alone, that Unity IS Strength. For children with hunger dragons, they are not alone and they don't have to worry about speaking up, for people will reach out (with a jelly sandwich). For children with the occasional hunger toads or crickets, they are the ones who can help those with dragons. Sharing goes a looooong way.
The author, Sherry Alexander, is a friend from the Institute of Children's Literature's Writers Retreat. Besides blogging on children's books, she also talks about and raises awareness of tough issues like child hunger and child trafficking at When You Are Right, You Write.
Here's the book trailer for Oliver's Hunger Dragon:
Official press release
A portion of all proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Clark County WA Food Bank, Feeding America, and the Portland Police Bureau Sunshine Division to help feed kids. Please help spread the word. Thank you!