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The Disappointment Dragon: Learning to Cope with Disappointment (for All Children and Dragon Tamers, Including Those with Asperger Syndrome) ISBN: 9781849054324
Al-Ghani, Haitham and Al-Ghani, K. I.
Published by Jessica Kingsley, 2013
Disappointment can be difficult to handle when you are young, and this book can help children to cope with the sometimes excessive sadness or anger that disappointment can bring about. In a beginning chapter (and in large print and wonderful pictures), we meet the Disappointment Dragon, a dark purple, spotty character who just loves to make children unhappy and take them down to the Valley of Despair. In very young children, this despair can be changed by a loving parent fairly quickly, and the child can move away from the Valley of Despair to the Mountain of Happiness and the Dragon of Hope (a jolly red dragon with rainbow stripes on his tummy). However, in older children, having temper tantrums is unexpected and embarrassing, and the further stories in the book show us ways of circumventing the sometimes excessive reactions to sad or difficult news. In the first story we meet Bobby, who desperately wants to be picked for the school football team. His grandfather is happy for him but explains that he may be too young, and tells him about when he was a boy and reacted badly when he was not picked for his team. He and Bobby work out coping strategies, and sure enough, when Bobby is disappointed, he can handle the situation with maturity. Lucinda is terribly disappointed when she develops chicken pox and can't go on the school trip. Her mum assuages her sadness by bringing her a Distraction Box of interesting things to look at and play with. The last story involves the whole class. Their well-loved teacher announces that she is getting married and moving to New Zealand, and the class is very saddened by this. The children themselves come up with the answers for this one, and they all cope. The dragons appear in and out of all the various stories, sometimes in unexpected places, and it is the illustrations that make the whole thing special. There are dozens of helpful suggestions for coping strategies at the end of the book, including little poems or 'mantras'. While the story is written by a specialist in Asperger syndrome and the pictures are by her son who has AS, the stories would be good for anyone who, perhaps, has a problem with dealing with disappointment. Great for schools too, and everyone will love the dragons! Available from bookshops, from Amazon, or from the publisher: or Tel: 020 7833 2307.
Age: 5+