February Dragon                      

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"I've always loved words… They can make us laugh, they can entertain us, they can make us cry and I’ve seen it happen and I suppose everybody has, people with tears streaming down their cheeks and all they’re doing is looking at a piece of paper with some marks on it. So the power of words is enormous." Colin Thiele    (from Storymakers: Colin Thiele, National Film and Sound Archive)

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About the Story
February Dragon is the story of three Aussie kids who live on a farm in Australia in the mid 1900's. Columbine, Resin and Turps catch an old bus to their small, two teacher school, hunt for yabbies and spend a lot of time with their pets, including a possum called Pinch. Their lives are filled with fun and adventure until the terrifying February Dragon arrives. A powerful and tragic ending.

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Meet the Author
Colin Thiele (pronounced tee lee) has written over a hundred books for children. Some of his most famous novels, including Storm Boy, Blue Fin and Stubble on the Sun, have been made into movies and television series. 
Read Colin Thiele's biography at Thiele Primary School website.
Read Thiele's poem, Bird in the Classroom - great figurative 
language!
Watch a short clip of Mike and his pet pelican from
the movie, Storm Boy.

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Aussie Creatures in February Dragon
Did you know that yabbies make good pets? If you're careful! Read this ABC Creature Feature to find out about the yabby
Gus is a huge goana that steals eggs and chickens from the chook pen. Although usually wary of people, goannas can mistake human legs for a tree and try to climb them! A swish of the tail can also inflict damage on the unwary. Check out this detailed and interesting article about goannas. Read these Wildlife Rescue tips on living with possums like Pinch.

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So what's a February Dragon?
'February Dragon' is a metaphor used by Thiele to describe one of the raging bushfires that sweep through the country side during the fierce Australian summer. Read about CSIRO's research into bushfires. You can view a short video showing CSIRO scientists try to burn down a fire resistant house. Watch this Behind the News story about families who retell their experiences in a bushfire.

Check out the school library and the city library to see what other Colin Thiele novels are available. Don't be put off by the old covers or yellowed pages. These books really are hidden treasures.


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