#PPBF – Oliver’s Hunger Dragon

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday – I review a picture book, provide a simple fun craft you can do with your kids and then I link up with dozens of other writers, moms, librarians and other lovers of picture books on Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

My daughter and grandson came home yesterday with pumpkins and several pots of mums to help decorate the outside of the house for autumn. Jeremy was so excited to show me the four pumpkins…the biggest Grandpa one, the next, with the curly stem (for my curly hair) is the Grandma one, a medium sized one for his mom and the small Jeremy pumpkin. We’ll probably carve at least one of them, maybe paint another and, in the end, use the pumpkin meat for yummy breads, muffins and pies. If any of you have special recipes using pumpkins, I’d love if you would share.


I connected with the author of today’s #PPBF pick in and around the kid lit community. When I heard Sherry Alexander had a new book coming out, I knew I would want to review it here.

From the author: “According to World Hunger, there are 870 million people in the world who go to bed hungry. In America that translates to 15.9 million children–that’s MILLION! When children are hungry, they are often too tired to play or to concentrate, and are too embarrassed to ask for help. 

Oliver’s Hunger Dragon was written to give these children a voice while demonstrating the power of friendship and sharing. To help fight child hunger a portion of the proceeds for this book will go to the Clark County Food Bank, Feeding America, and the Portland Police Bureau’s Sunshine Division. 



Written by Sherry Alexander

Illustrations by Amy Rottinger

Publisher: Halo Publishing International (2014)

Ages: 5 and up

Themes: Child hunger, friendship, sharing


Opening Lines:

“Oliver has a secret he does not want to share. He has a hungry dragon who follows him everywhere. Oliver has never really seen it, but it is always there. Rumbling and grumbling and making people stare.”



Oliver cannot enjoy anything because he is always hungry and his hunger makes him tired. He thinks he is alone in feeling this way, until he discovers that several other children also have ‘hunger dragons’. They band together and start sharing their food and then other children join in to share and soon none of the children are going hungry.

Why I like this book:

  • Kids will love the colorful bold ‘hunger’ dragons
  • The rhyming text includes several repeat sound words like rumbling and grumbling – children will enjoy saying those as the story is read aloud
  • The story encourages children to talk to each other (and hopefully to parents and teachers) about what is bothering them and then reach out and help each other
  • Hunger is a huge problem, even in the United States – but it is a problem that often doesn’t get enough attention
  • Children often feel they are suffering alone – this story will help kids understand that if something is bothering them, it is probably bothering others as well

How a parent can use this book:

  • Talk about the importance of eating healthy foods every day – without good food our bodies cannot produce energy for us to work and play
  • Go shopping with your child for several items to bring to a local food bank or see if your child’s class can do a food bank project
  • Lovely read aloud

Related Activities:



Photo courtesy: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/dragons – Visit their website for many more dragon activities.

You will need: 1 egg carton, construction paper in several colors, scissors, glue, paint, markers.

  1. Paint the egg carton and let dry.
  2. Cut out scales/spikes, nostrils, tail and eyes (in the photo, the eyes are made from the bottom cups of an egg carton – but you could use construction paper if that is easier) from construction paper.
  3. Glue in place and use markers to add details.

Oliver’s Hunger Dragon is available on Amazon

If you’d like to connect with author Sherry Alexander or find out more about her other books: http://www.sherryalexanderwrites.com/

And please come back tomorrow (that is, if my computer hangs on a couple more hours – I dropped it last night and it is now barely functioning) for Will Write for Cookies with TARA LAZAR!!!

25 thoughts on “#PPBF – Oliver’s Hunger Dragon

  1. Oh, wow, Vivian! I am thrilled to be adding this book to our list! I don’t think we have a single book that addresses childhood hunger! (Or if we do and I’m not remembering… which is entirely possible… 🙂 we certainly don’t have very many, and it’s such an important topic!) Thanks so much for sharing this one! And enjoy your pumpkins 🙂 I don’t have many recipes, but I’m VERY good at eating things made out of pumpkin, especially pie and muffins 🙂


  2. I’d seen this book mentioned before, but didn’t really have a feel for it until now. Thanks for highlighting it- I’ll be adding it to my list!


  3. That egg carton dragon is pretty amazing. You have given me yet more ideas for our knights and castles birthday party. I hope your computer makes it, Vivian. I had to upgrade not too long ago, and boy was it expensive!


    • Hi Kirsten…so far, my computer has decided to take a new lease on life…but I know I will need to replace it. It miraculously fixed itself! Thanks for stopping by…glad you like the egg carton dragon…I thought it was so cool. 😉


  4. Your pumpkins are beautiful. Thanks for sharing that photo with us!
    This book sounds like one kids would love. The cover is appealing and that dragon craft is adorable. I saw one on the Pinterest board that Julie RZ shared with her book today.

    My laptop lid is coming apart which is a pain and they said to repair it wasn’t worth it. But I feel lucky that until it falls to pieces that it still seems to function well. Hope yours limps along until you have time to decide on a new one.


    • That’s my hope as well, Penny! I am going to try to take this as a wake-up call to do a better job of saving my important files…the first night, I saved a ton of stuff…but of course, as the days have gone on, and the computer has revived itself…I’ve put the saving on the back burner…tell me to get on the stick and start saving again…please!

      The book is a great addition to any school library shelf…addressing a topic often left unspoken. Hope lots of people ask their libraries to get a copy. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a book dealing with child hunger, and it’s such a huge issue – especially here in Asia! I look forward to adding this one to our collection! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Always a pleasure to have you!


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