Ignis

by Gina Wilson and illustrated by P J Lynch (Walker Books London 2001)

peace with ourselves-peace with each other

recommended but unavailable - maybe a copy in your local library

This delightful story challenges our western understandings about dragons being dangerous creatures we should all fear, and its simple words of wisdom are easy for all ages to appreciate and share together. The story contains many peace-building elements:

  • happy endings

  • everyone winning

  •     nonviolent resolution

  • imaginative and creative

  • challenges existing stereotyping

  • faith and hope

  • peace with the environment

  • finding personal peace

  •     ..an element that supports the idea that peace is possible

Ignis was unable to breathe fire as all real dragons should. Unable to accept his inabilities he began his search to try and find out who he really was, because if he could not breathe fire then he could not be a real dragon. His friends loved him despite himself and supported him as he ventured out into the world. He found even more friends along the way. Eventually Ignis found out who he truly was.

The happy ending in this story does involve our hero finding peace.

.....and finding himself and his place in the world.

Ignis is reminded of the importance of friends.

Friends support each other.

Friends believe in each other.

Friends are always there for you.

Ignis learns to appreciate and be grateful.

Read Gus' story of a dragon named Flamer who could have easily been a relative of Herb or Ignis. Gus created his story after he was read both stories. Gus definitely included similar peace building elements in his story and his version his hero goes in search of his own inner dragon.

Critical questions to explore with children

  • Why was Ignis admired by his friends?
  • What was Ignis unable to do?
  • What did he decide to do about his situation?
  • What happened when he met Cara?
  • Why were the wise elders angry with Ignis?
  • Does the story have a happy win-win ending?

Creative questions to explore with children

  • Do you think all dragons are like Ignis?
  • Why was it so important to him to find his flame?
  • Would the other dragons have treated him well if he never found his flame?
  • What other names would be good names for dragons?
  • Where are good places for dragons to live?
  • How else could the story have ended with win-win?

  Flamer by Gus

Teaching and Learning for Peace Foundation February 2005

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