Welcome to our very first book review! Each month, we will feature a safety-focused book and provide a brief overview along with our thoughts and insights. We have no affiliation with the authors or books featured; books are chosen based on what we feel would be of interest to our audience and all reviews are independent. If you have a book you would like to submit for consideration, please send us an email with a description and a link to where it can be purchased.
Can you remember your favorite book as a child? What about it stands out most in your mind – the illustrations, the story, how it made you feel? How about your child’s favorite book? What makes it special?
When it comes to memorable children’s books, entertaining illustrations are a must. An easy to read story is a definite winner; bonus points if it rhymes. And of course, the story has to teach a lesson in an engaging, memorable way. No doubt your favorites have one or all of these attributes.
Which brings us to No Dragons for Tea. Designed as a fire safety learning tool for children (and dragons!), this book has a lot of the elements that make for an enjoyable and memorable children’s book.
Narrated by a precocious young girl fully versed and practiced in fire safety, the story revolves around her helping her new dragon friend safely navigate a fire – one which the dragon accidentally set during a tea party, hence the title. The dragon plays the role of hapless sidekick, making all the missteps you want to avoid. Luckily, the little girl knows exactly what to do in case of fire, providing helpful instructions to her new friend every step of the way.
The rhyming verses make it fun to read and it’s written in a way that the story unfolds around learning about fire safety, so it stays interesting while still informing. There’s even a ‘Fire Safety Rhyme’ at the end that children can learn and remember.
When the smoke alarm sounds, here’s what you should do:
Leave your toys all behind, ‘cause there’s only one you.
Get down and stay low, crawling under the smoke,
Because breathing those fumes in might make you choke.
If your clothes catch on fire, don’t run about,
“Stop, drop and roll” till the flames are all out.
Don’t open a door if the handle feels hot.
Find another way out to your planned meeting spot.
Even when scared, you must never hide,
And once you are out, don’t go back inside!
The illustrations are cute and colorful, bringing the story to life in a charming way.
Included at the back is a checklist of all the items you should discuss with your child to ensure they have the knowledge necessary to be safe in case of fire.
No Dragons for Tea is one in a series of books using the unusual friendship of a young girl and a dragon to teach children other safety lessons including water safety, stranger safety, and how to deal with bullies.
To help avoid fires in the first place, check out our tips for creating a comprehensive fire safety plan (for adults!).