The Last of the Dragons and Some Others by E Nesbit
Introduced by Anne Brichto of Addyman Books, Hay-on-Wye
“Why”, said Effie, “I know what it is. It is a dragon, like St George killed”. And Effie was right, the winged creature that came crawling out of the boot was really a little dragon. In fact there were ‘winged lizards’ appearing all over the country, though the newspapers of course never called them dragons for fear of looking silly.
Indeed, as E Nesbit cheerfully remarks, ‘No one believes in dragons nowadays.’ I loved E Nesbit. You were in such safe and confident hands when you were reading her books. The characters were formed and exactly defined – you could get into the minds of each of the children.
I adored the Psammead and I still can’t quite understand how Nesbit made the magic in her books so reasonable and appropriate. There is never a false note and her stories were loved by C S Lewis who I feel based much of the style of the Narnia stories on her writing.
The cover of this Puffin edition captures the juxtaposition of magic and everyday grime that is part of Nesbit’s world. Magical grit!