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Anita and the Dragons

Anita and the Dragons

Published: 18 Mar 2021

Hardback, 32 pages

Recommended for age 3+ and 5+

By Hannah Carmona

Illustrated by Anna Cunha

Published by Lantana Publishing

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Anita watches the dragons high above her in her village in the Dominican Republic. But being the valiant princesa she is, she never lets them scare her. Then one day, Anita must face her fears and begin life in a new country. Will she be brave enough to enter the belly of the beast and take flight to new adventures?

Tagged Dominican Republic , dragons and top pick

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Reviewed by Kiran Satti

Anita and the Dragons by Hannah Carmona and Anna Cunha is set in the Dominican Republic, the pages are dappled with beautiful examples of Anita’s heritage. The dragons are not what they seem but their roar is very real.

This story draws you in so many ways. Settled and secure, Anita is a fierce Princesa – valiant and forthright. She is assertive and strong. She makes believe her island is her kingdom, however, hovering around are the dragons. The planes.

It becomes apparent through interactions with her parents and Abuela that they are to travel far away and settle elsewhere. The fearlessness that Anita has starts to gently ebb away the closer it gets to moving day. A monumental moment of doubt takes hold of Anita as her family are about to board the dragon (plane). This leads to Anita taking a deep breath which has the same power and velocity as the wind beneath the dragon’s wings would have – a powerful breath that propels her forward.

Anita transforms from the fearful to the fearless dragon.

The most beautiful quality of this story is the balance between the heaviness Anita begins to feel but the softness of the illustrations. The illustrations are comforting and are almost whispering to you, everything will be ok.

This is a story of migration – the human story of migration. The transforming illustrations towards the end of the story set the pace of change that Anita feels as she ventures into the sky. The dragon’s wings become her own and with that, the whole world is waiting for her.

Anita and the Dragons is a book to be savoured, discussed and then shared. It lends itself to lower junior class collections.

Kiran is a Primary Teacher and English Leader, with a Masters in Teaching Studies. She has been teaching for 10 years and is passionate about how English and Reading can empower learners. Kiran runs the @WomenedBookclub. She enjoys reviewing books for Just Imagine as well as contributing to content to some of their projects. Kiran shares her practice, some enabled through OU/UKLA/RfP initiatives/ events as well as speaking at local and national events about empowering fiction for young girls, diversity and the importance of kindness.

The BAME authors set

A collection of children's books written and illustrated by BAME authors.