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BOOK REVIEW: Build the Dragon by Dugald Steer, illustrated by Douglas Carrel and John Woodward

| 2 January 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Build the Dragon by Dugald Steer, illustrated by Douglas Carrel and John Woodward

Walker Books
November 2017
Hardcover, $24.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Children / Activity Books / Reference


This interactive guide features dragons from around the globe. It comes with a tuck box containing precut pieces to build a beautifully artworked European dragon with motorised wings and movable jaws.

Enter the magical realm of dragons with this interactive guide. Build a spectacular 3D moving model of a Western dragon, then wind up the motor and watch it come to life! Find out everything you need to know about dragons from around the world with the 32-page book, from myths and legends to anatomy, behaviour and supernatural powers.

  • Includes 46 model card pieces to make a fantastic model of a European dragon that comes with a wind-up motor to make its wings flap, and jaws that open and close
  • Visually captivating book explores the myths and mysteries of dragons from around the world
  • Features an anatomical insight into dragons, focusing on the wings, claws, skeleton, wings and more; also offers an exploration of the magical powers and abilities of various types of dragons


This is a fantastic little set for anyone who loves dragons or building models, with reasonably easy to follow instructions, and mechanised wings to boot!

Though pieced together by inserting cardboard sections 10, 11, and 12 into the slots on cardboard section 9 (and so on), the final product is bound to impress kids of all ages (even those in their thirties).

The 32 page booklet attached to the box is full of wonderful, full-page illustrations, and information on a range of dragons, including the difference between dragons in the East and dragons in the West, the difference between dragons that fly and dragons that live underwater, and other skills, healing properties, and ways in which dragons have impacted humanity (apparently some taught us how to read, write, and even speak).

At times, unfortunately, the book rehashes the same facts in slightly different wording in the span of 2-4 pages, and had the author consolidated these two things, there may have been more space for additional information. Perhaps it’s petty to mark the set down based on the 32-page booklet, but these issues are the only thing that stop this, one of my new favourite things, from scoring a perfect 10/10.

Fantastic for holiday fun, but also something that can be played with (or displayed) for a long time to come, and the fact that it’s made of slotted-together pieces of carboard means it’s likely to “break” by falling apart, rather than actually being irreparably damaged, and that gives you a chance to build it all over again!

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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