The Different Dragon


I wrote this book when my children were young because I wanted them to see their own family structure in a playful, magical bedtime story. I didn’t want the story to be about a two-mom family, nor did I want to explain or defend this non-traditional configuration. The Different Dragon is about story-telling, messy rooms, starlit skies and a singing cat. It’s a big deal that Noah, the protagonist, brushes his own teeth, puts on his own pajamas and sleeps in his own bed. And like many 5 year old boys (and not a few girls) he wants there to be a fierce dragon in the story, one that he is brave enough to stand up to. Stand up he does, and in the process, Noah discovers that not every dragon wants to be fierce all the time. It’s okay to stomp around and set things on fire but it’s also okay to make friends, play badminton and eat ice cream instead.

The Different Dragon makes Bustle’s list of “30 LGBTQIA-Positive Children’s Books That’ll Teach Kids How Beautifully Diverse The World Is”


The Different Dragon is among good company on the popular online women’s magazine, Bustle’s, list of “30 LGBTQIA-Positive Children’s Books!”  Read more here about The Different Dragon and recommendations for other great children’s books that “teach children to be not just tolerant, but to be loving.”

Curriculum Ideas


The Gay Lesbian Straight Educators Network (GLSEN) offers a lesson plan that features The Different Dragon. The lesson “Respecting Families Nurtures Everyone!” fits nicely into any early elementary unit that addresses families and their many configurations. Click here to download.

If you have used The Different Dragon in your classroom, please write and tell us about your experience. How did you use the book? What kinds of reactions and questions did your students have? Do you have ideas to share with other teachers? We would like to hear from you!!

El Dragón Diferente


When 7th grader Alba Clark expressed an interest in translation, her Spanish teacher Pamela Torres handed her a copy of The Different Dragon. This passionate teacher and her motivated student worked closely together, delving into the essence of language and searching for words to honor the intention of the original story. Because of their efforts Two Lives Publishing is proud to bring you El Dragón Diferent.

Born in Spain Alba is keenly aware of the audience for this book. She understands the transformative power of literature and believes “the importance of a translated children’s story like The Different Dragon is immense.” I share her hope that El Dragón Diferent “will bring messages of gay rights and the new roles of children to a very eager Spain.” This Spanish version will allow families and students in classrooms everywhere to read this inclusive, whimsical tale.

Whether you are a parent, teacher, young reader or aspiring translator, enjoy!

Alba Clarke is a rising 8th grader at Shore Country Day School in Beverly, Massachussetts. She was born in Barcelona (Spain) and now lives on the Phillips Exeter Academy campus (NH) with her parents and her younger sister the amazing Claudia. She loves singing and performing, reading, writing, listening to Ted Talks and talking about ideas.

From Alba’s teacher:

From the first time Jennifer Bryan came to Shore Country Day School I was impressed by her messages, her openness, and her willingness to share her experiences with others to make all children feel good about themselves and welcome. So, when my student, Alba Clarke, expressed an interest in translation, I immediately thought of asking Jennifer if she might be willing to let her translate The Different Dragon into Spanish under my guidance. I was thrilled that Jennifer gave us permission. During Alba’s seventh grade year, she and I worked closely together with the language to find words that honored the intention of the original story. Alba is very aware of the transformative power of literature, and I knew that giving Spanish speaking children a story like this would be special and meaningful. It is my hope that the translated story will bring messages of gay rights and the roles of children to the Spanish speaking world. I am grateful to Jennifer for the chance to do this project, and you can look for the next versions in Chinese and German!

Pamela Torres, Instructor in Spanish
Shore Country Day School
Beverley, MA

Curriculum Ideas


Now that there is a Spanish version of The Different Dragon, the curriculum possibilities are really exciting! Classroom teachers and language teachers can team up. Read the English version as a read-aloud in class; use the Spanish version to build vocabulary and see familiar verbs in action. In both classes there is an opportunity to talk about stereotypes.

The Gay Lesbian Straight Educators Network (GLSEN) offers a lesson plan that features The Different Dragon. The lesson “Respecting Families Nurtures Everyone!” fits nicely into any early elementary unit that addresses families and their many configurations. Click here to download.

If you have used The Different Dragon in your classroom, please write and tell us about your experience. How did you use the book? What kinds of reactions and questions did your students have? Do you have ideas to share with other teachers? We would like to hear from you!!


HOW TO USE THE IBOOK AS A TEACHING TOOL

From Pamela Torres, Instructor in Spanish, Shore Country Day School

El Dragón Diferente iBook was created for use by teachers and students alike. Elementary teachers are encouraged to use an iPad or an iPad projected on the screen to share the story during class with their young students. Each page has a mini-microphone, and when clicked, Alba Clarke, the Shore Country Day School and Phillips Exeter Academy student translator, will read the story to you with great emotion and care. When she speaks, you will notice that her accent is from Spain, something you might want to highlight with your students when talking about the different types of pronunciation of the Spanish language.

El Dragón Diferente can be downloaded to any iPad for student use. Middle school students can work together in small groups first to listen and read the story, then to discuss the themes of the story, look up words they don’t know, and come together in the larger group to share their ideas. High school Spanish students can read and listen to the story independently and bring their opinions back for a class discussion on the themes of the story.

El Dragón Diferente iBook is the perfect opening for classroom conversations around inclusivity and caring, families and friends, and even nighttime routines. If you are looking for something new and different for your classrooms written by an amazing author and advocate for the rights of all people, and translated by an advanced middle school language student, give El Dragón Diferente a try in your classroom.

Let us know how it goes and be sure to share your experiences with us and other Spanish teachers.

Praise for The Different Dragon:


The Different Dragon is the kind of book gay and lesbian families have been waiting for for a long time — a story about a child with two moms who are part of the fabric of everyday life, rather than something to be explained or defended. And Noah’s imagined encounter with a dragon will appeal to children in all kinds of families.

Kathleen T. HorningDirector, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison

All families with young children should read this book for its engaging, magical tale. The fact that it celebrates difference-of both the dragon and Noah’s family-is an added bonus.

Dana RudolphBay Windows

Warm colors, vivid language…add to the effectiveness of this nighttime read-aloud.

Kirkus Reviews

At last a charming story-within-a-story featuring a little boy with two moms–and this one has truly lovely illustrations, too!

Nancy Gardenauthor of Annie on My Mind

My children loved this story, especially the dragon who didn’t want to be fierce anymore. I also loved this beautifully written and exquisitely illustrated bedtime story and as a “straight” mom, found it refreshing to read a story to my children through the eyes of a boy with two mothers. Reading stories such as this will help to reinforce the fact that no matter what type of family one lives in, one with two moms, two dads, with a single parent or a mom and a dad, the important thing is that we love our children. In today’s world, the reality is that my children have friends in their classes who come from non-traditional families and we need to reinforce to them that in this diverse world, we are all okay.

Amazon Review

The Different Dragon
Written by Jennifer Bryan
illustrated by Danamarie Hosler
Two Lives Publishing
978-0-9674468-6-8, Paperback, $12.95
32 pp., 8″x10″, Full-color illustrations
Picture Book, ages 3-8
Click here to order the book!

JBAlbaDSC_9122

Booksellers and retailers, visit www.createspace.com/info/createspacedirect to order the book from CreateSpace.
Click here to order the book!