Author(s): Geert De Kockere
In the evening when it gets dark, a daddy dragon, a mommy dragon, and dragon children breathe fire into the night. They see who can breathe their fire the farthest and they sing out, "Fire is life, and life is fire!" But one night Mommy has trouble making a flame.
As she grows sicker, it's up to Daddy and the dragon children to love and take care of her. And when Mommy's flame goes out completely, Daddy and the dragon children give her one last hug, one last kiss, and find a way to say good-bye. Eventually Daddy and the dragon children decide to try breathing fire into the night again. They do not breathe their flames very far, but something special happens. High in the sky a sparkling star flashes like a flame in the dark. "Mama!" the dragon children cry, and it is so beautiful that Daddy announces, "Mama wins this time."
Dragon Fire is a picture book about cancer and what it means for a family. Geert De Kockere's gentle text tells the true story of An Dom and her family, and Tineke Van Hemeldonck's simple paintings allow raw emotion into her illustrations. This is a must-have book for any family dealing with a parent with terminal illness.
Geert De Kockere studied to become a teacher but instead became a professional journalist. Currently he is the editor of "Buitenbeen," a nature magazine for Flanders and the Netherlands. He has written many children's books, including several collections of poems, and has won a variety of book prizes for his work. He resides in Kempen, Belgium. An Dom was a terminally ill kindergarten teacher who began writing "Dragon Fire" so she could explain in simple terms to her children what the cancer would do to her and what the consequences would be for the family. She chose dragons as the characters to stay in the realm of children. She passed away in 2011. Tineke Van Hemeldonck studied graphic design, specializing in illustration, at Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg in Hasselt. She has done all kinds of graphic design work, and this is her first children's book. She currently resides in Bunsbeek, Belgium.