Historical and Sweet
'Zog and the Flying Doctors' is another great story by Julia Donaldson, and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The two have their share of books written and illustrated together, including 'The Gruffalo' and 'Room on the Broom,' two adorable and poetic stories about interesting creatures. In this tale, Zog, a dragon-ambulance, shuttles two doctors, known as Gadabout the Great and Princess Pearl, all over in the name of medicine. They work on a variety of creatures, from mermaids to lions to unicorns, spreading goodness through their ability to make everyone feel better. However, when Princess Pearl's uncle, also known as the king, discovers that she has traded her princess duties for those of a doctor, he banishes her to his palace, making her focus on doing things only meant for princesses. Desperate to escape this fate, Pearl works with Gadabout and Zog to help cure her uncle from an illness, hoping that he'll eventually see the error of his ways.
Donaldson does a fine job with her rhyming verses, capturing the troubles and triumph that shape Pearl's life, and by extension, that of Gadabout and Zog. She shows that girls and boys alike can do anything they want if they set their mind to it, and they should be proud to stand up to anyone who stands in their way, even if those people are family members. Pearl's goodness and work ethic shine through as the story goes on, and her companions help her remain true to who she knows she truly is and is meant to be. Additionally, Axel Scheffler's illustrations help further showcase Donaldson's poetic prowess and her ability to tell a compelling and seemingly realistic story even though magical creatures populate the pages. The fact that the story is set in historical times is also a plus.
In 'Zog and the Flying Doctors,' Donaldson and Scheffler have crafted a sweet, historical, engaging story that is hard to not embrace, especially after reading some of their other tales that stem from the same spirit.