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The Tale of Custard the Dragon    by Ogden Nash & Lynn Munsinger order for
Tale of Custard the Dragon
by Ogden Nash
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 1998 (1995)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Custard is a delightfully cowardly dragon, the pet of young Belinda, who also shares her 'little white house' with a black kitten, a gray mouse, a yellow dog and a red wagon. While the others all considered themselves brave and teased him unmercifully, 'Custard cried for a nice safe cage.' But when a peg-legged pirate arrives 'climbing in the winda' it's another story altogether, and Custard's true colors emerge (along with an unsuspected appetite for pirates).

Lynn Munsinger's illustrations do a wonderful job of conveying the fearful, cowering (but engaging) Custard, and Ogden Nash's poetry (written in 1936) is witty as always. The dragon has his brief moment of glory, after which the others re-interpret events to their own credit ... 'And Custard said "I quite agree / That everybody is braver than me."'

The Tale of Custard the Dragon is charming, cute and whimsical, with more than one layer of meaning to explore with small children.

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