Cover image for A gold star for Zog
A gold star for Zog
Donaldson, Julia.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Arthur A. Levine Books, [2010]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 x 29 cm
Each year, as Zog practices new skills learned at Madam Dragon's school, a little girl helps him out until one day he finds a way to help make her dream come true for herself, a new friend, and Zog.
Reading Level:
AD 590 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.3 0.5 151888.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.3 1 Quiz: 58298.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



The ultimate back-to-school quest from bestsellers Donaldson and Scheffler

What do dragons learn at Madam Dragon's school?

How to fly. . .
How to roar. . .
How to breathe fire!

Zog is the most eager student in the class, but he's also the most accident prone. With each test (and each bump, bruise, or scrape), his dream of earning a gold star seems further away than ever.

But a mysterious girl keeps coming to his rescue. And when Zog faces his toughest test yet, she may be just the person to help Zog win classroom glory!

The beloved creators of Room on the Broom , The Gruffalo , and Stick Man are back with this tale of an unexpected hero who's good as gold.

Author Notes

Julia Catherine Donaldson was born on Sept. 16, 1948 in London. She is a British writer and playwright and the 2011-2013 Children's Laureate. She is known for her rhyming stories for children. These include: The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Stick Man. She began writing songs for children's television but has focused on writing books when the words of one of her songs - A Squash and a Squeeze were made into a children's book in 1993. She has over 180 published works with 120 of them intended for school use and include her Songbirds phonic reading scheme, which is part of the Oxfird Reading Tree.

She has won several awards including: The Stockport Book Award for her title The Troll, The Oxfordshire Book Award for her title Zog and The Oldham Book Award for her title Jack and the Flumflum Tree. In 2015 The Gruffalo made The New Zealand Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Poor Zog. He's a student in Madam Dragon's class on all the things dragons need to know, but the gold star he so desperately seeks may prove elusive. During flying lessons, he sails head-first into a tree; his voice grows hoarse while practicing his roar; and he catches his tail on fire during the flame-breathing drills. Fortunately, Zog, a curious orange fellow with a unicorn's horn, meets Princess Pearl, and she helps him to earn his shiny star at last. An unexpected, bizarre twist follows, involving the two teaming up for a career in medical services, with Zog serving as the flying ambulance. The rhymes here are often as bumpy as Zog in flight A year went by, and in Year Three the dragons learned to blow. / 'No!' said Madam Dragon. 'Breathe out fire, not snow!' but the bold, bright art is humorous in its depiction of the accident-prone dragon and his comrades. This British import may ease the fears of kids with back-to-school anxiety.--Kelley, Ann Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In a fractured fairy tale of sorts from the duo behind The Gruffalo and other stories, Zog wants to be the best student in dragon school, but he crashes into a tree during flying lessons, gets a sore throat from roaring, and ignites his wings with his own fire breathing. A nice girl always appears just in time to patch him up, but she has troubles of her own: she's really Princess Pearl, who yearns to escape the royal life and be a doctor. Will Zog and Pearl get the happy endings they deserve? And what of Gadabout the Great, a knight who shows up to "rescue" Pearl? Donaldson's rhymes are somewhat lackluster ("Zog went off to practice./ He tried and tried and tried,/ But he simply couldn't manage./ 'I'm no good at this,' he cried"), but while Scheffler's characters are straight out of fantasy, they exude a sweet, down-to-earth quality that makes them instantly sympathetic. Readers will get a kick out of the genial self-awareness in his cartooning-on almost every spread, a character glances at the audience as if to say, "Can you believe this?" Ages 4-8. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-In this rhyming story, Zog is subpar at most dragon skills despite being the largest dragon at school. Though he wants to win a gold star, he fails flying, roaring, and fire-breathing, and each time he attempts any of them his injuries are treated by a gentle human who turns out to be Princess Pearl. The kindhearted girl agrees to be captured so that her friend can finally earn his star. She then remains as medic to all the dragons. When a knight in armor arrives to rescue her, she stops the fighting by explaining she'd rather be a doctor than a princess, and the knight agrees to work with her-with Zog serving as an ambulance. Humorous illustrations feature dragons in primary colors with comical expressions in richly colored forest and mountain landscapes. The artist cleverly captures the dragons' enthusiasm and depicts the princess with a long nose and vibrant outfits. Donaldson's rhymes have a bouncing cadence that guides the story's flow. A delightful new twist on happily-ever-after.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.