Zog and the Flying Doctors – Julia Donaldson

Illustrations – Axel Scheffler

Spoilers Ahead!

I was introduced to Zog when I borrowed the short film from the library. After watching it twice I finally read the book, and Zog became my new favourite dragon. Naturally I then ordered the sequel from the library and bought my own copy of the film so I could watch it to my heart’s content.

I’ve been eagerly anticipating this read and I’m so disappointed that I was disappointed by it. At the end of the first book, Princess Pearl, Gadabout the Great and Zog head off on a new adventure. This book begins with the Flying Doctors living the life of their dreams. Pearl is finally a doctor, Gadabout is performing surgery and Zog is flying them from patient to patient.

They tend to a sunburnt mermaid, a unicorn with an extra horn and a lion who’s got the flu. Everything was going well and I was along for the ride … until Pearl is imprisoned by her uncle because, “Princesses can’t be doctors, silly girl!” The men (Gadabout and Zog) are then charged with trying to save this damsel in distress. It isn’t until Pearl diagnoses her uncle’s illness and cures him that he decides it’s acceptable for a Princess to be a doctor. As if she needed his permission! Released from captivity, Princess Pearl and her two male saviours (who, incidentally, tried to save her but didn’t) go off on their merry way, smiling and waving to the man who imprisoned her.

Nope, sorry. That’s not a book I’d want to read again or put in front of a child. The first book? No hesitation. I still absolutely love it. I just wish I’d stopped there and imagined for myself the wonderful adventures that were to come for the Flying Doctors.

I loved the illustrations in this book; they’re the reason I’m giving this book 3 stars instead of 2.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Meet the Flying Doctors: Princess Pearl, Sir Gadabout and, of course, their trusty ‘air ambulance’, Zog the dragon, as they fly around the country, tending to a sunburnt mermaid, a distressed unicorn, and even a sneezy lion.

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