“Do You Want to See my Dragon…?”

For as long as I can remember, John has loved dragons. Toy dragons, lego dragons, dragons in books, he loves them all. But the ones he loves the most are the dragons that for some magical reason, become real…

When he was five or so, we would use our hands to fly toy dragons through the air. He spoke very few words but in the imagination of our play, we both understood that the toy dragons were much more than what they seemed to be…

Maybe a couple of years later, we would search for little bits of lost lego fire. John had two lego dragons, a green one and a black one. Once the fires were found, he would carefully place the tiny lego pieces into the mouths of the two dragons. His words were limited to a few simple sentences but seeing the mighty dragons breath fire again, in our world, we knew to agree that the lego dragons had an extraordinary life of their own..

John was older when I read a book to him about a boy who became a dragon rider. Maybe it was that story that inspired him years later and not so long ago, to create an idea for a future book about a different boy named Navi and a dragon named Bree. His very own story that has yet to be written and illustrated but often sparks loops of conversation from John as together we imagine his very own storybook dragon coming to life…

Today, John is spending time with a new dragon. “Do you want to see my dragon?” He asks, and I sit down beside him. We’re mostly silent but smile-worthy excited as we look at his drawing of a magical sand dragon that has mysteriously appeared on the beach of Seaside, Oregon. The dragon is pretend of course and it really isn’t in Seaside. However one thing is clear to both of us. In the story of “Sandman of Seaside,” the sand dragon that I wrote of, the one that John has illustrated, like all of the dragons of our life that have come before, is thoughtfully being sketched from our imaginations into something very  real…

“Sandman of Seaside,” by Chris Fraser, illustrated by John Fraser, (author and illustrator of “Bean and Pocket, The Story of the Hummingbird Elixir,”), to be published soon.

Chris…