The narrator of the story, who is a young boy, has a pet dragon called Zibbo. This inseparable duo play, laugh, sing, dance and make things together. They hang out with lots of other children, too (the illustrations show the boy’s friendship group as animated and diverse children whizzing about on wheels, playing hide and seek and generally enjoying each other’s company in variously active ways). Zibbo has a tendency to get over-excited at parties: there is a really funny moment when the birthday girl gets completely covered in soot after the little dragon goes a bit overboard while blowing out the cake candles.
The story concludes with a declaration that Zibbo and the boy are best friends despite of (and perhaps because of) their differences…and they both think the other one is AMAZING!
Steve Anthony has created a story that has no forced message about disability; instead he uses Zibbo the dragon to reflect acceptance and inclusion (Zibbo is very different to the children in every way, but they love and accept him regardless). The character of the boy is refreshingly liberated from the all too common shackles of disability representation in stories (he’s not shown being assisted and his friends don’t have to adapt their behaviour for him, he’s not marked out as being brave, lonely, teased….) instead he’s just a normal, active boy having fun with his friends. Highly recommended for any child’s bookshelf.