Irish charms, novelty tea cosies, golden crackling, glistening dragon figurines…. My long time friend Anne Harvey lives the magic that is Flame the Dragon. The world sorely needs a dose of Anne’s imagination and she has come to our rescue with her first book, “The Dragon in the Soup Tureen.”
When Anne isn’t painting, knitting, singing, pampering her dogs or pounding her computer keyboard late into the night, she works as an Integration Aide, using her wit and compassion to help teenagers with additional needs succeed in education. Anne’s intuitive understanding of everything on four legs, and everyone has never fitted in, has brought her tubby and troublesome little dragon to life and left us eager for the next installment of her trilogy.
A dragon on the run from malevolent scientists and spies wins the hearts of a young Australian family. Gulping supermarket chickens that have been bought for him by his human allies, the tubby miniature dragon spends his days hidden and separated from the artists and sculptors. He has no place in their world and is not too shy to act on his personal dislikes nor to intrude into the humans’ innermost thoughts.
Flame the Dragon learns to control his magical powers, which both frighten and amuse his human friends. His escape from captivity and search for others of his kind , where he can belong and feel safe, is a mythical representation of the dramas that many of us face in an uncertain world. This is an older children’s fiction novel with a deeper meaning, bringing to young readers the themes of compassion, trust, diversity and acceptance.
The Dragon in the Soup Tureen is a gentle fantasy with serious undertones regarding how human beings respond to surprising circumstances and how they treat those different from themselves. The prose is meticulously crafted and very playful in its expression. It seamlessly advances the narrative to a satisfying conclusion. Young readers particularly will find exposure to the text to be an educational and enlightening experience of how language can translate the stuff of dreams into a conscious reality. The author’s use of characterisation to portray human (and non-human) strengths and foibles is delicately achieved by providing humorous elements that either soften or accentuate the tendency to judge a protagonist. I readily recommend this work to young (and young at heart) lovers of literature and to those who would benefit from an introduction to the ways in which language can be used to create experiences that are both pleasing and thought provoking.
Gerard McMaster BA Grad Dip Lib
I have known Anne for approximately four years, and during that time I’ve watched her grow from a woman with low self-esteem to a self-published author! It’s been a wonderful transformation to watch, culminating in this touching and uplifting story. It’s a tale of hope and belonging and, as a grandmother who yearns to see her grandchildren thrive and find their way in the world, I know Flame will prove to be a powerful role model for them – and any child who reads his story.
I am so proud of you, Anne – for the courage you’ve shown, the resilience and self-belief … and the beauty you have brought to reality with the telling of this story. Well done. You’ve created true magic.